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Media Release: Addo rangers arrest diver with abalone near Bird Island

27 October 2010

Addo Elephant National Park Rangers have arrested a diver in possession of abalone near Bird Island in the Eastern Cape’s Algoa Bay in the early hours of this morning.

The diver was arrested after he surfaced from diving at 00h29 this morning with 107 shucked abalone in his possession.

Rangers stationed on Bird Island noticed a light shining near Black Rocks while on their nightly patrol last night. After observing the situation for a while, they launched a boat to investigate.

After they shot off a warning flare, the rangers noticed two super-ducks in the water with a number of divers on board. The two vessels with divers fled.

On patrolling the waters, rangers saw divers’ torch lights shining in the water and approached the divers. The two divers then proceeded to load the abalone and a cell phone used for communications onto the Park’s vessel.

One diver was arrested while the other managed to escape by diving back into the water and swimming away.

Rangers confiscated the abalone as well as diving gear and detained the diver on Bird Island.

The suspect will be taken to Kinkelbos police station this morning to be charged.

Bird Island, home to the largest breeding colony of Cape gannets and a sizeable African penguin breeding colony, forms part of the Addo Elephant National Park. It is flanked by Black Rocks, which is home to the most easterly breeding colony of Cape fur seals, as well as Seal Island and Stag Island.

Issued by:   
South African National Parks            

Megan Taplin, Regional Communications Manager, Addo Elephant * Camdeboo * Karoo * Mountain Zebra National Parks, tel: 083 6508649 or 041 46780916 / e-mail: