3 SA Navy sailors died, among them first African woman submarine commander

7 crew members were swept into sea from South African Navy diesel submarine SAS MANTHATISI on Sep 20, off Kommetjie, Cape Town area, during “vertical transfer” exercise. 4 were rescued, 3 unfortunatly, died, among them Lieutenant Commander Gillian Elizabeth Hector (Executive Officer), the first woman to navigate a submarine on the African continent. There was swell up to three meters height during exercise. The tragic accident could be partially attributed to lack of proper training – the result of insufficient funding.
South African Navy diesel submarine SAS MANTHATISI, displacement 1454, complement 30, armament torpedoes, commissioned 2005.



My name is Mikhail Voytenko, I’m Russian, professional merchant marine navigator, by education and former experience. I own and run Maritime Bulletin website for more than 10 years. I've been involved in solving a number of piracy hijack cases, including the hijack of ro-ro FAINA, loaded with tanks. It was me who made public, and unravel, freighter ARCTIC SEA mystery. I've been also closely involved in a number of maritime disaster, one of them being MSC FLAMINIA major fire.