The KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Sihle Zikalala, has sent his deepest condolences to the families of KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board employees who drowned when their boat capsized during the early hours of Wednesday.
The tragic incident, which happened when the officials were servicing shark nets claimed two lives while the other two survived and one is still missing.
Zikalala together with the Mayor of uMhlathuze Local Municipality, Mduduzi Mhlongo and the Chief Executive Officer of KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, Mthokozisi Radebe visited families of the deceased and the survivors in hospital.
The MEC described the incident as tragic – adding that the Sharks Board had not had a fatal boat accident since it was formed more than 60 years ago.
“We would like to send our sincere condolences to the families of our employees who passed on. We also wish those who survived the ordeal a speedy recovery. Our officials together with the National Sea Rescue Institute and Portnet are currently searching for the missing employee,” Zikalala said.
The MEC said he had been told that the sea was not violent when the officials started inspecting the nets.
“We have been informed that the seas suddenly changed when they were already working thus tipping the boat over – amid being operated by one of our very experienced skippers who had been with the Sharks Board for more than 18 years. He has won numerous awards for exceptional performance,” Zikalala said.
The Sharks Board will be offering professional psychological counselling to the victims and would work closely with families as they prepare to lay to rest their loved ones.