A South African fishing vessel that had caught fire on Tuesday has left two men severely injured, 14 people had escaped safe.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Nick Dollman said the first man sustained severe burns to his hands, arms and face while the second one had sustained a moderate injury.

“The vessel had caught fire and there was an explosion on board, causing it to start sinking.

He added that all 16 men on the vessel were accounted for.

“The closest vessel to the incident was a large freight ship and they went to the aid of the stranded men.

“The Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre contacted the National Sea Rescue Institute, which dispatched Netcare 911 and the airforce.

“A joint operation was launched and rescue personnel responded to the incident which was located about 18 kilometres out to sea.

“Netcare 911 Advanced Life Support paramedics were lowered down to the vessel from a helicopter to attend to the injured.

“The injured were then hoisted up in a rescue basket.”

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