Deputy Sheriff Dies Serving Arrest Warrant to Ship Off South Africa

S. Africa Deputy Sheriff Dies Serving Arrest Warrant to Ship
MV Blue Marlin 1. File Photo: MarineTraffic.com / Andrew Mackinnon

Authorities in South Africa are investigating the death of a deputy sheriff who died while serving an arrest warrant on a vessel at an anchorage off Port Elizabeth last Saturday.

The South African Maritime Safety Authority has confirmed that the officer, Henry Kemp, 42, fell from a height of about eight meters into the ocean while “climbing a steep ladder” to board the Liberian-flagged bulk carrier Blue Marlin 1, which was anchored about 4 miles off South Africa’s Port of Port Elizabeth.

SAMSA said Kemp had boarded a pilot boat at the nearby Port of Ngqura on Saturday to deliver the warrant to the Master of the vessel.

Kemp’s body was recovered from the water at about 7:15 p.m.

The reason for the ship’s arrest is unknown.

Kemp had been a sheriff for approximately 20 years before his tragic death, SAMSA said.

The cause of death is under investigation by SAMSA and the South African Police Service.

AIS data on Wednesday showed the MV Blue Marlin 1 as underway sailing for Brazil.