Sea Harvest Confirms Sinking of the MFV Lepanto

18 May 2024

CAPE TOWN: Sea Harvest Group Limited (Sea Harvest) confirms that the MFV Lepanto, one of the vessels within its Viking Fishing Division, unfortunately sank around thirty-five nautical miles offshore from Hout Bay yesterday, Friday, 17 May 2024.

An immediate rescue operation was launched after the distress call was received from the vessel, initially by maritime vessels in the vicinity and thereafter the South African Maritime Safety Authority’s Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) as lead coordinator. At this stage, nine of the 20-man crew have been rescued and arrived safely in Cape Town aboard the MFV Armana, another of the Group’s vessels that was in the area at the time of the call. The men were supported with a physical evaluation by a medical doctor and provided with immediate trauma counselling; they have now been reunited with their families.

Tragically, eleven of the crew are still missing. An active search and rescue operation with several vessels continues, with the South African Search and Rescue (SASAR) supported by the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI).

We are in constant contact with the families of the affected employees and have offered counselling for the family members during this terrible time.

The relevant authorities, primarily the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), have been notified and have commenced an investigation with the support of the company to establish the cause of the accident.

Further information will be released as soon as it becomes available.

The NSRI’s statement on the search and rescue mission is available on its website:

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