The 57 foot fishing vessel Deshan Lanka caught fire and partially sank off the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa on October 29, 2011. The fire forced all four crewmen to abandon ship into the life raft. The men then spent the next three days and nights without food or water. The raft drifted off the coast of South Africa until it was some 20 kilometers off shore. There it was within range to send a call. The crew sent out a distress call which was received by the NSRI. They launched a lifeboat which rescued the four men off Mossel Bay. Reports state all four crewmen were in good shape.
The crew of the Deshan Lanka were very fortunate to have detained prior while bunkering in East London, South Africa. The trawler was enroute from Sri Lanka to Sierra Leone when it had stopped in East London. There it was detained by the South African Maritime Safety Authority because the vessel had no marine VHF Radio, life jackets, red distress flares or life raft on board. The Deshan’s owner purchased the equipment so that the fishing vessel could proceed. A few days later those items who save the lives of the men on board. While rarely praised for the efforts, the safety inspection from the Maritime Safety Authority and the NSRI lifeboats gave four men reasons to be thankful.