Hangberg divers salvage vessel in Saldanha

Three Hangberg divers have successfully salvaged a sunken vessel in Saldanha Bay.

Stefan Braaf, Nevin Adonis and Marcello Louw are part of a group of seven divers from Hout Bay’s harbour community who have turned their back on abalone poaching after qualifying as professional divers (“Magnificent seven almost done salvaging,” Sentinel, February 16).

After salvaging vessels in Hout Bay harbour, Guerrini Marine Construction (GMC), which together with Gordon’s Bay-based dive school Jack’s Dive Chest trained the divers, the three men were seconded to Saldanha Bay to assist on a “problematic” vessel.

Gregg Louw, the community liaison with GMC, said the men were faced with a new challenge: cement in the hull of the vessel.

“This was something new for the divers. They had to drill a hole in the cement which was then filled with explosives. It was a step deeper than what they had been trained in,” he said.

While GMC’s salvage contract comes to an end this month, a new contract will be awarded for the dredging of Western Cape harbours. “We are expecting the divers will be used in future projects.

“There has been a lot of money invested in their training, and there is also an expectation in the Hangberg community that more job opportunities will arise,” Mr Louw said.