Search called off for missing Namibian trawler captain

FISHING/AQUACULTURE WEEK
Carlo Gordon, captain of the ill-fated Namibian trawler Resplendent (Photo: O&L Group)

Hangana Seafood, a subsidiary of Namibia’s Ohltaver and List (O&L) Group, has confirmed the suspension of search operations to attempt to locate the captain of a fishing boat who went missing when his vessel sank in mid-February 2020.

The cause and circumstances of the sinking of the trawler Resplendent on February 18 are currently under independent investigation by the country’s Directorate of Maritime Affairs (DMA).

Resplendent‘s captain, who has been identified as Carlo Gordon, was the only one of the vessel’s 27-strong crew who went missing during the incident, which occurred some 27 nautical miles off Henties Bay in western Namibia shortly after 13:00 local time on February 18.

The survivors said the sinking had been preceded by the sudden flooding of seawater into the vessel at around 12:30 on February 18.

In consultation with Walvis Bay Diving, Hangana Seafood has established that even with the use of highly sophisticated equipment, diving at the depths where the trawler is believed to have sunk is at the outer limits of human capability and was thus deemed a “highly dangerous undertaking.”

The company further claims that the use of a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) would yield limited results as such vessels do not have the capability to recover bodies from the seabed. Even using an ROV to attempt to locate the missing captain would not be feasible due to the poor visibility.

Hangana said that, after careful consideration and close consultation with experts to explore all possibilities, the company’s management and the insurer concluded that there is no reasonable prospect of finding Mr Gordon alive or recovering his body from the wreck.

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