Board of inquiry gets more time to probe SA Navy submarine tragedy
South African Navy chief Vice-Admiral Monde Lobese has granted an extension to a board of inquiry investigating the deaths of three submariners washed off the deck of the SAS Manthatisi.
A wave struck the Heroine-class submarine on the surface off Kommetjie while a vertical transfer exercise was being carried out — when vessels at sea receive supplies by helicopter — on September 20.
The submarine was, at the time, heading to Cape Town's Victoria and Alfred Waterfront for a navy festival event.
South Africa’s first woman submarine commander Lt-Commander Gillian Hector, Master W/O William Masela Mathipa (coxswain) and W/O Class One Mmokwapa Lucas Mojela (coxswain under training) drowned.
“After a fatal incident at sea off Kommetjie near Cape Town ... that claimed the lives of three SA Navy sailors, a board of inquiry (BOI) was instituted to investigate events that led to the incident,” said acting senior staff officer Commander Theo Mabina on Friday.
“The BOI has requested an extension of the time allocated to complete its work. The chief of the SA Navy Vice-Admiral Lobese acceded to this request and has granted the extension.”
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