Pretoria – The Commander-in-Chief of South Africas Armed Forces, President Cyril Ramaphosa is “deeply saddened” by the loss of three crew members of the South African Navy submarine SAS Manthatisi, the Presidency said Thursday.
The submariners perished at sea off Kommetjie, near Cape Town on Wednesday, (20 September 2023).
The SAS Manthatisi was en route to Cape Town while conducting a vertical transfer (VERTREP) by means of a SA Air Force Maritime Lynx helicopter when high waves swept seven crew members out to sea.
Rough seas affected the rescue and recovery operation in which the National Sea Rescue Institute assisted.
While all crew members were recovered, three fatalities were recorded. Other crew members, including a senior officer in a critical condition, are being treated in hospital.
President Ramaphosa said: This is a sad loss for our nation and for our brave armed forces in particular who routinely face danger in order so that all of us can be safe and secure.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the families, friends, commanders, and colleagues of the crew members we have lost.
We wish the injured personnel a full recovery from the physical and psychological trauma they experienced during this tragedy.
We also appreciate the efforts of all role players who, at great risk to themselves, undertook the rescue and recovery operation.