Luxury boat fire leaves 2 dead, 1 missing

Two people have died and one remains missing after a fire broke out on a luxury houseboat on Sunday in Jozini, northern KwaZulu-Natal.

Taking to its Facebook page, the Shayamanzi Luxury Houseboats team wrote: “We are heartbroken to inform you, that as a result of a fire on Shayamanzi 1, a tragic accident has resulted in a loss of life of one of our guests and a crew member.”

Alongside a member of the crew, a German tourist lost his life. A second crew member is still missing. KwaZulu-Natal police are now attempting to determine the cause of the deadly blaze.

The company continued its post: “As a long-established family owned business, we are devastated and are doing everything possible to understand and support the investigation and impact on our Guests, Crew and their Families.

On behalf of the Shayamanzi Team our sincere condolences. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. We mourn with you.”

Shayamanzi 1 is a 25 metre by 8 metre, double pontoon houseboat that was launched in 2002. It comes with four crew members and six en-suite cabins. The Shayamanzi vessels are the first houseboats launched in South Africa and enables guests to explore Lake Jozini and all of its surround nature.

Ravi Pillay, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Economic Tourism and environmental Affairs, commented after the incident: “Search and rescue teams have been busy since then. Of course, there’s always hope that there might be a miraculous finding and that he has survived but the teams are still out there trying to recover (the crew member).”

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