Fishing boat captain died when vessel sank off Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 11:04 28 August 2018 | UPDATED: 11:24 28 August 2018

The three men rescued from the life raft  Picture: Alexandra Rosen/PA Wire

The three men rescued from the life raft Picture: Alexandra Rosen/PA Wire

The skipper of the boat that sank off Great Yarmouth was one of the two fishermen who lost their lives.

According to Belgian news site HLN the victims were the captain Kurt Slabinck, aged 48, from Moerkerke, and Roger Zoete aged 60.

Mr Slabinck’s wife Muriel is reported as saying: “Kurt texted that he had to pay attention, because the tide in the North Sea was apparently really dangerous.”

“They still had to pick up fish and I asked my husband to let me know how it had been. I never received an answer.

“I sent several messages, but they did not go through. Perhaps the connection had already disappeared.”

She revealed he was one of the voices behind Radio Moerkerke.

“It was his two great passions,” she added.

“Kurt went to the fishing school at the age of 15. However, he did not come from a fishing family but had caught the bug of the sea and never lost it.”

The three other crewmen of the Z-19 Sonja were able to hoist themselves into a liferaft and were picked up three hours later on Saturday night by a passing cruise ship.

Among them was Pascal Pincket, aged 19, from Eernegem, who worked as a driver on the fishing boat.

His wife Natascha Meulemeester also had contact with her husband shortly before the disaster. “He texted me an hour before that everything was fine,” she said.

“My husband is doing well and is probably coming home together with the others tonight (Monday). He is obviously very affected by the loss of his two colleagues. They were almost family to him. Not surprising, because they were sometimes together for more than 12 consecutive days 24 hours a day.”

The cause of the tragedy is still under investigation.

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