Three naval mariners have died after a surface operation in Kommetjie in Cape Town went wrong on Wednesday.

Seven men – believed to be SA Navy mariners – were pulled from the water in a coordinated rescue effort in the afternoon.

The National Sea Rescue Institute and other emergency medical personnel rushed to the scene after reports of naval mariners having difficulty in the water.

It’s believed that big waves at Kommetjie hit the vessel, causing the mariners to fall overboard.

An eighth mariner – a female officer – remained on the vessel.

The NSRI’s Craig Lambinon says the officer was eventually extricated, but despite CPR efforts, she too was declared dead on the scene.

” NSRI Hout Bay dispatched an NSRI rescue craft and crew to assist at the Navy vessel. Sadly, despite extensive CPR efforts, the female officer was declared deceased. The body of the female was airlifted to the NSRI Hout Bay rescue station. The bodies of the 3 deceased have been taken into the care of Government Health Forensic Pathology Services. The 4 remaining crew survivors were lightly injured and did not require hospitalisation”.