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Department saddened by the sudden passing of its Island expedition member

11 February 2014


The Department of Environmental Affairs has today learnt with shock and sadness about the tragic death of a member of the over-wintering team on Gough Island, Mr Johannes Adriaan Hoffman, an electronic technician. The cause of Mr Hoffman’s death is unknown at the moment and investigations are being conducted.

Mr Hoffman, a member of the Gough53 expedition team died early this morning (11 February 2014) on Gough Island which lies in the South-west Atlantic. He worked as an Electronic Technician in the development and maintenance of electronic and communication systems with experience spanning over 15 years. The deceased had undertaken similar expeditions for the Department in the South African National Antarctic Programme (SANAP) and the Marion Island and Antarctic base. It was his second expedition on Gough Island as a radio technician.

 His family has been informed of his tragic passing and the Department is currently making arrangements to fetch the deceased from Gough Island. Psychological counselling sessions for the remaining team members will be arranged.

 The Department would like to express its condolences to the Hoffman family, friends and colleagues for their loss.

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Zolile Nqayi
Cell: 082 898 6483