President mourns passing of South African Navy submariners

Friday, September 22, 2023
SAS Manthatisi.

As Commander-in-Chief of South Africa’s Armed Forces, President Cyril Ramaphosa is deeply saddened by the loss of three crew members of the South African Navy submarine, SAS Manthatisi, who perished at sea off Kommetjie, near Cape Town, on Wednesday.
The SAS Manthatisi was en route to Cape Town while conducting a vertical transfer (VERTREP) by means of a SA Air Force Maritime Lynx helicopter, when high waves swept seven crew members out to sea.
Rough seas affected the rescue and recovery operation, in which the National Sea Rescue Institute assisted.
While all crew members were recovered, three fatalities were recorded. Other crew members, including a senior officer in a critical condition, are being treated in hospital.
“This is a sad loss for our nation and for our brave armed forces in particular, who routinely face danger in order for all of us to be safe and secure. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families, friends, commanders and colleagues of the crew members we have lost.
“We wish the injured personnel a full recovery from the physical and psychological trauma they experienced during this tragedy. We also appreciate the efforts of all role players who, at great risk to themselves, undertook the rescue and recovery operation,” President Ramaphosa said.

The South African National Defence Force (SANDF) identified the deceased submariners as Lieutenant Commander Gillian Elizabeth Hector, Master Warrant Officer William Masela Mathipa and Warrant Officer Mmokwapa Lucas Mojela. –