The crew of the Geo Searcher were airlifted from Gough Island to the Agulhas II which then headed for Tristan.

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SA Agulhas II on the way to Tristan with Geo Searcher Survivors

Report and photos from the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA)

The airlift of the stricken crew of the MFV Geo Searcher was completed by about 3:45pm local time on Wednesday 21st October, and the SA Agulhas II then left for Tristan. She was expected to arrive late morning on Thursday to drop off survivors Ian Lavarello and Rodney Green and pick up the clothing and goods gathered by the Tristan community for the relief of the crew.

Geo Searcher survivors airlifted to the SA Agulhas II

Survivors from the MFV Geo Searcher landing on the SA Agulhas II, having been airlifted from Gough Island

SAMSA Report, 22nd October 2020

After losing time battling inclement weather characterised by strong winds, South Africa’s research vessel, the SA Agulhas II is on its way back from the Gough Island, after successfully rescuing the crew of the vessel that sunk just a mile away from the remote Atlantic Ocean island last week.

This is according to the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) which is coordinating the rescue and safe return of the 62 crew members who were onboard the Belize flagged research vessel, Geo Searcher, when it hit rocks and took water before it sunk to the bottom of the sea near Gough Island on Thursday last week.

Evacuated crew of the MFV Geo Searcher on the SA Agulhas II

The airlifted crew of the MFV Geo Searcher being briefed in the lecture room of the SA Agulhas II

On board the Geo Searcher at the time, were 47 South African, three (5) Portuguese, one (1) British, two (2) Ghanaian, one (1) Indonesian, four (4) Namibian and two (2) Tristan citizens,” said the updated statement.

On Wednesday, SAMSA reported the rescue crew of the SA Agulhas II hurriedly dispatched last week to fetch the seafarers off the stricken research fishing vessel as having encountered wild stormy weather on approach to the Gough Island.

"Bad weather with gale  force winds has stalled the rescue operation since Tuesday  (20 October 2020). Weather forecast for the  coming 24 hours is also not looking any better but is being closely monitored. The evacuation will commence as soon as the weather subsides.The  weather is  reported to possibly  subside  from Thursday  (22nd October 2020)," said SAMSA

On Thursday morning, SAMSA reported all as going well with the rescue mission, and that the SA Agulhas II was on its way back to South Africa.

"The SA Agulhas II is heading to Tristan da Cunha to drop the two Tristanian  survivors from where the vessel will then proceed to Cape Town.

Arrival in Cape Town will be dependent on weather conditions that may affect the sailing time. All indications are that it will take approximately 4 to 5 days before the vessel arrives in Cape Town." said SAMSA."