By Xolile Bhengu
Shayamanzi luxury boat deck hand Maxwell Nyawo’s body has been found at the Jozini Dam. Nyawo, 36 was one of the three people that drowned when the Shayamanzi I luxury house boat caught fire on October 10.
On Thursday last week the SA Maritime Safety Authority sent additional divers to assist the Jozini Municipality, Disaster, Fire, and Rescue team.
Nyawo’s family, despite being told earlier in the week that his life jacket had been found, was still hoping that he might still be found alive.
Shayamanzi chef Michael Phiri, 51, and German tourist Michael Mirschel, 64, were the recovered casualties from the luxury houseboat fire. The other four passengers and two additional crew members managed to reach the shore safely.
Thandi Phiri, wife of Michael Phiri, declined to comment. “I am not ok at the moment. We are still grieving after the funeral.”
In a previous interview in 2014 with the company Nyawo from Ingwavuma said he had first been employed as one of the contractors building the boat and was later offered a job onboard.
Speaking to The Mercury last week, his sister Busisiwe Nyawo said although the family was still in shock over the accident, they were still hoping that her brother would still be found alive.
But authorities by mid week had changed the status of Nyawo’s case from a search and rescue to a recovery exercise that included additional divers.
On Sunday, a distraught Busisiwe confirmed that her brother had been found. “I went to the scene with my brother and sister to identify him when they found him.”
SAPS spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele confirmed that Nyawo had been found and positively identified by his family.
“His body was found by the search and rescue team of Empangeni and Jozini that had been on site the whole week. Relatives were called to the scene to positively identify his remains,” said Mbele.
The KwaZulu-Natal German Consulate and Shayamanzi Luxury Boathouse company did not respond to repeated requests for comment.