Sea Harvest update following Minister Creecy’s visit with some of the affected families and some survivors of the MFV Lepanto

22 May 2024

CAPE TOWN: Sea Harvest Group Limited (Sea Harvest) is pleased that a positive engagement took place between the company and some of the affected families and some of the survivors of the sunken MFV Lepanto. We will continue to provide ongoing support for all the families and our employees during this challenging period.

Sea Harvest would like to extend its appreciation to the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment, Barbara Creecy, for taking time to personally meet with some of the families of the missing crew and the survivors, as well. The company would also like to thank the Food and Allied Workers Union and Congress of South African Trade Unions for attending.

Today’s meetings were particularly cathartic for all involved. The company has met with the families since Sunday and hosted other engagements earlier this week. The families, survivors, our colleagues, and management are all deeply saddened and traumatised by Friday’s accident.

We will be hosting a private service for the families of the missing lost seamen and survivors. We humbly request that the privacy of the families be respected during this painful time.

We have taken note of certain allegations made towards the company regarding the incident and in relation to the vessel’s safety. The South African Maritime Authority (SAMSA) is conducting an investigation into the incident and its cause. We respect this independent process and we are co-operating and engaging meaningfully and transparently with SAMSA. We do not feel it appropriate to speculate as to the cause of the accident nor enter into public debate around the allegations made, whilst the authority’s investigating is underway. We can, however, confirm that the MFV Lepanto, like all Sea Harvest vessels, was governed by a comprehensive maintenance system, with adherence to a robust and ongoing mandatory service regime as prescribed by the authorities.

We, respectfully, request that any queries or information that might be relevant to the investigation be shared with SAMSA.

We would like to reiterate that we are committed to bringing closure to the families and our colleagues and will do everything in our power to assist the investigation.

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