Volunteers have joined in the search for eight missing fishermen after the search area was extended on day four of the recovery efforts, following the capsizing of fishing vessel Maredon on Sunday.

Eastern Cape police spokesperson Sergeant Majola Nkohli on Wednesday said that various services were taking part in the search.

Sixteen people had been on board the fishing vessel when it capsized in the early hours of Sunday morning, in the vicinity of Cape St Francis.

One person was confirmed to have died and seven were rescued.

“It is believed that the strong current and wind conditions caused it to capsize,” Nkohli said.

Search operations for the missing fishermen were launched on Sunday. None of them have yet been found.

Nkohli said, while police were leading the operation, a number of services were supporting them as the area was “huge”, after the coastline of Jeffreys Bay was included in the area to be combed.

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana is expected to visit the families this week.

“We are saddened and are supportive of all the rescue operations to locate the remaining crew and fishers. The department has deployed a team to the Eastern Cape to support the operation,” department spokesperson Carol Moses said.

On Sunday, the body of the dead fisherman was recovered and seven people were rescued on shore at Sunset Rocks, after maritime rescue officials were alerted by red distress flares from various chokka fishing vessels offshore of Thyspoint.

The capsized vessel was found hard aground. High tide conditions caused the vessel to roll over a few times and prevented rescuers from approaching, but a survivor was seen climbing out of the vessel and rescue swimmers waded into the water to retrieve him.