‘We did everything to save him’…devastated crew, family mourn drowned fisherman

Home National ‘We did everything to save him’…devastated crew, family mourn drowned fisherman
‘We did everything to save him’…devastated crew, family mourn drowned fisherman

WALVIS BAY – A 22-member vessel crew battled rough sea in their desperate attempt to rescue a fisherman who had gone overboard on Tuesday morning. 

Sadly, fisheries observer Faustinus Mutangara and his fellow crew members could not help save the life of Daniel Vataleni Haufiku. 

“We did everything we could to get our brother back on board,” a devastated Mutangara told New Era in Kuisebmond yesterday. 

Haufiku drowned and was declared dead an hour later after he fell into the water. He was employed on board the Laxe Dos vessel, which is owned by Merlus Fishing. Haufiku had boarded the vessel as usual on Saturday, and departed along with his fellow crew for the fishing grounds. Describing the incident, Mutangara said that they were on the deck around 07h50 as the crew was about to start fishing. 

“There are two doors that balance the net. One of the doors hit him while he was busy hooking the net. He then fell into the water. We managed to throw a lifebuoy to him, and he managed to grab it with one hand,” Mutangara added.  According to him, the waves kept on pushing the lifebuoy. The captain also had to steer the vessel in such a way that it made the rescue mission quicker. 

However, the waves made it extremely difficult to rescue the fisherman. Haufiku was wearing a life jacket when he went overboard, and it helped them in retrieving his remains from the sea. 

“We did not panic. Everyone was so dedicated to bring our colleague on board again,” said Mutangara, who described the drowning as a very traumatic and sad experience.



Meanwhile, friends and loved ones who visited the family home in Kuisebmond yesterday described Haufiku as a very quiet and caring person who took care of his family. His younger sibling, Immanuel Amorongo, said he is still in disbelief over the incident. 

 “I will miss my brother. Although he was so quiet, his odd presence at home will always be missed. He would always knock on my door to announce his return back from fishing, and it is sad that this won’t happen anymore,” Amorongo said. He added that the family got so used to the fact that he is always home for at least two days, and that he would be around watching television or visiting friends. “The last we saw Haufiku was on Saturday before he left to board the vessel. “I was busy cooking, so I stole some of his bacon from the pot, and he didn’t even notice,” Amorongo said. According to him, Haufiku was living with him and their mother. 

Haufiku had no surviving child, as his first-born and only child died a few months ago.  

Meanwhile, the Erongo police yesterday said the remains of the deceased arrived on Tuesday evening at the port of Walvis Bay, while a post-mortem would be conducted.

– edeklerk@nepc.com.na