SAMSA has published the first photo of the stricken Geo Searcher; plus more details of the evacuation and rescue by the SA Agulhas II.

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First Picture of the Sinking MFV Geo Searcher

News from the South African Marine Safety Authority (SAMSA) and the LUSA News Agency

On 28th October 2020, the SAMSA Blog published an extensive report on the SA Agulhas II side of the rescue of the crew of the MFV Geo Searcher, which sank off Gough Island on the 15th October. The blog includes the following picture of the stricken vessel, as well as video footage of the rescue effort, and interviews with Captain Bengu of the Agulhas II and Jared Blows, Chief of the Maritime Rescure Coordinating Centre (MRCC). It also has many photos of the Geo Searcher crew disembarking at Cape Town, of which we reproduce a couple here.


The MFV Geo Searcher sinking off Gough Island

The MFV Geo Searcher down at the stern and listing severely as she sinks off Gough Island. Photographer unknown

More on the Evacuation

The SAMSA blogger was unable to persuade any of the crew to talk about their ordeal, but the Lusa News Agency and other Portuguese media have published additional dramatic information from one of the Portuguese survivors. Describing their escape as a 'miracle', he says that he and his fellow countrymen left the ship in the first boat. Unfortunately, this then overturned while being manoeuvered, throwing its occupants into the sea, and they were in the water for about 25 minutes before they could be hauled out. They must have been wearing survival suits (normal practice for abandoning ship when time allows) to have survived so long in the cold South Atlantic water. Fortunately, as can be seen in the photograph, the sea was calm, and the weather was good, if dull.

Disembarking the Crew at Cape Town

The SA Agulhas II arrived back in Cape Town on Monday 26th October. A few family members of the Geo Searcher's crew were able to meet them as they disembarked. We wish them all the best for the future.

Crew of the MFV Geo Searcher disembarking in Cape Town

Above and below: The crew of the Geo Searcher disembarking the SA Agulhas II in Cape Town. They carry with them bags of clothes and other contributions from the Tristan community. The Tristan hats were evidently appreciated.

Crew of the sunken MFV Geo Searcher disembarking the SA Agulhas II in Cape Town.