Cadets salvage trawler in Hout Bay

Hout Bay fishing trawler Constantiaberg sunk at her moorings for over nine months.

Sea Cadets from TS Woltemade in Lakeside were invited recently by Hout Bay maritime businessman, Ken Evans, to attend the salvaging of a fishing trawler.

The trawler, Constantiaberg, had its sea cocks damaged in an attempted theft, resulting in her sinking at her berth.

Mr Evans explained the salvaging operation to the Sea Cadets. It involved experienced salvage divers, high volume pumps, mooring lines and a cofferdam constructed, to seal the large opening to the fish hold, on the more or less watertight but flooded deck.

The intention was to pump out the water while plugging the holes and making the vessel watertight.

Once the fishing vessel righted herself, the Sea Cadets used their seamanship skills to transfer a small pump from the shore to the vessel’s stern deck.

This pump was used to pump out the lower parts of the ship which the other, much larger, suction hoses could not reach.

During the salvage operation one of the Sea Cadets noticed the national flag was flying upside down on a vessel berthed nearby. This flag hoist represents a vessel in distress according to international maritime signal code.

The Sea Cadets located a crewman and after making sure there were no problems on-board, asked to fix the flag.

Mr Evans, a former navy officer, has previously also taken Sea Cadets out on the tourist launch Calypso to experience the bay and visit Seal Island. “The practical experience reinforced the Sea Cadets training at TS Woltemade and they did themselves, their unit and their volunteer adult instructors proud,” said Lieutenant Commander Glenn von Zeil.