A man from Hessen dies in a fire on board a luxury houseboat. The son barely saves himself – and now raises serious allegations.
Frankfurt / Cape Town – A man from Hesse was killed in an accident in South Africa. The family man from Frankfurt* drowned in a lake after a fire broke out on a houseboat. His son, his brother and two friends were also on board. The son has now made serious allegations against the tour operator in an open letter.
A member of the local crew was also killed in the tragedy on Lake Jozini in the eastern province of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa). One of the crew members is still missing to date.
Disaster in South Africa: two dead and one missing after a fire on a luxury boat
The fire broke out on Sunday (10.10.2021) during a cruise in the engine compartment of the luxury boat, as reported by the German press agency. The cause is so far unclear. Due to the strong winds on Lake Jozini, which is also known as the Pongolapoort reservoir, the fire spread rapidly. Despite the high waves, vacationers and crew had to jump into the lake. The father from Hessen then drowned.
The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) initiated detailed investigations after the fire. The group of five from Germany and four crew members were on the two-day cruise in a luxury houseboat.
Man from Frankfurt dies in a shipwreck – the cause of the fire is still unclear
The son of the deceased commented after the accident in an emotional Facebook post: “The last 48 hours have been the worst of our lives. Our papa passed away and we survived with the last of our strength, ”he wrote. Shortly before the fire broke out, the son and friends were heading for the shore in a small dinghy to watch elephants. As a storm was approaching, they wanted to go back to the houseboat when suddenly the fire broke out. When they arrived, the entire boat was in flames, wrote the dead Frankfurt’s son on Facebook. The flames exploded the gas tanks on board the luxury ship. Therefore, the crew and the vacationers only had to jump into the lake.
“Dad was already so shocked that he unfortunately couldn’t find the energy to fight on his own,” wrote the son. He himself made it to his father, who was struggling for survival, but could no longer help him. Resuscitation attempts initiated later were also unsuccessful, as the picture reports.
Accident on houseboat: Serious allegations against the travel company
In an open letter on Tuesday, the son made serious allegations against the travel company. The man from Frankfurt accuses the tour operator Shayamanzi of negligence. Already at the beginning of the journey there were probably problems with the engine. A technician even had to come on board the ship for this, the Hessian told dpa. In addition, the safety equipment on board was inadequate and the staff had not been trained, the letter said.
The owner of the tour operator Shayamanzi, Kim Blevin, denied the allegations. According to her, the boat was registered with the SAMSA authorities and had been regularly serviced “from bow to stern”. The papers were also flawless and up to date, the owner told the German Press Agency. (Lucas Maier) * fnp.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.