Kwa-Zulu Natal – The South African Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) says investigations are under way following the death of two people, including a German tourist, after a fire broke out on a luxury houseboat in Jozini, northern KwaZulu-Natal over the weekend.
Samsa confirmed the incident in a statement, saying one crew member and one passenger had died.
“The luxury houseboat known as Shayamanzi was reportedly on a two-night cruise on the Jozini Dam with four crew and five passengers. Samsa, with other stakeholders including emergency services, will continue to monitor the situation and update the public as and when new information becomes available,” Samsa said.
The South African Maritime Safety Authority has launched an investigation into a fire that reportedly broke out of a luxury house boat in Jozini, KwaZulu-Natal and in which at least two people have lost their lives.https://t.co/amASgGXSNv
— SAMSA (@SAMSAMARITIME) October 11, 2021
By yesterday afternoon, the Shayamanzi Facebook page had more than 200 comments, as former guests sent their condolences to the families of the deceased.
News24 reported on Monday that Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Ravi Pillay had expressed his sadness over the deaths and was due to visit the houseboat in Jozini.
According to IOL, Alex Mirschel, using the account of Robert Verbanec, posted on the page: “This is Alex Mirschel, writing on the account of my good friend Robert. Our group was the one on the boat and we lost our father yesterday.
“We lost everything including keys, passports, cards, cash, smartphones and clothes but try to get Daddy’s body back to Germany (sic). The remaining four of us were struggling in the water due to the very rough conditions but we made it.”
KZN police spokesperson Nqobile Gwala confirmed that inquest dockets had been opened at Jozini SAPS.
“There were nine on the houseboat – four crew members and the other five were German tourists.
She said: “The crew and guests dived into the Jozini Dam when the houseboat caught fire. Six people were able to swim to the shore back to safety, two bodies were recovered, one of a crew member and the other a guest. Another body has not been recovered.”
Picture: Getty Images
Compiled by Reginald Nhlapo