Six officers of a Greek freighter were feared drowned on Monday (11 June) when they abandoned the stricken ship during a fierce storm off the Eastern Cape of South Africa.
LV PAN Helicopters take-off from pads at Port Elizabeth, South Africa, with ocean in background
GV Broken-up Greek freighter Edvokia in two halves on rocks surrounded by white surf
Helicopter winching man up from rocks and flying off (2 shots)
AV Broken Freighter on rocks (2 shots)
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Background: Six officers of a Greek freighter were feared drowned on Monday (11 June) when they abandoned the stricken ship during a fierce storm off the Eastern Cape of South Africa. The six-thousand-tonnes Edvokia was later torn apart when huge waves hurled her onto rocks near the own of Oubosstrand. The sole surviving officer, the third engineer, was found the following day perched on a rocky outcrop where he had spent the night in near zero temperatures after swimming ashore.
SYNOPSIS: Helicopter pilots from Sixteen Air Force Squadron at Port Elizabeth lifter sixteen crew members of the ship near Plattenburg Bay, Eastern Cape, on Monday. But gale-force winds and poor visibility in the Cape's worst weather for twenty years, later forced tem to abandon their search for other survivors. The ship was damaged o Sunday (10 June) and was spotted two days later by the crew of a Shackleton search aircraft. She was mashed to pieces with just her bridge and stern visible above pounding waves. The rescued third engineer said that on Sunday waves twice the height of the ship were threatening to sweep away the bridge, and they had no radio contact with rescue services.
The engineer, Mr Htolio Castro, said the freighter's captain, Anatsias Patsaties, realised on Sunday (10 June) hey could not outrun the storm. When he decided the only chance was to run his ship aground the captain steered her towards shore, expecting to hit sand. Instead, the Evodokia crunched onto an immense rocky outcrop six kilometres (3.7 km) west of Oubosstrand, and the waves smashed her against the rocks. Mr Castro said...some crew members were injured by flying glass during the pounding. He helped other officers onto the open deck before diving overboard.