Nineteen people were rescued after a cargo ship ran aground off the Knysna coast near a nature reserve, the Western Cape tourism department has said.
“We commend the quick response to the incident by the rescue agencies,” MEC Alan Winde said today in a statement.
All 19 members of the ship’s crew were evacuated safely. The ship, carrying rice, lost power and dropped anchor in the morning, Winde said.
“It is in the middle of a nature reserve and one of the Garden Route’s popular tourism sites. While there’s no current threat to the environment, we hope the ship is towed off soon before this turns into another Seli 1.”
The Turkish bulk carrier Seli 1 ran aground off Bloubergstrand in the Western Cape in September 2009. In May this year, the navy tried to weaken and break the structure up using explosives, which led to an oil spill.
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