The equipment was transported from Gauteng as the search for the players who went missing at Bluewater Bay is becoming desperate.
Police spokesman Captain André Beetge said two Sea Borderline police vessels and a privately owned boat were launched yesterday morning to assist with the search.
“The hi-tech sonar equipment arrived yesterday afternoon and will be used to assist with the search. This is very specialised equipment and uses sonar pulses to scan the seabed and ocean,” he said.
“We are hoping that this equipment will help speed up the process of locating the missing swimmers. Just the fact that we managed to get this sonar equipment from Gauteng shows the extent to which we are going for this operation.”
Beetge said quad bikes, police vehicles, the mounted unit, the dog unit and air force had all been deployed to assist with the beach search.
“The Joint Operation Centre is coordinating the entire operation and liaising with management from the football club to ensure they are kept informed at all times.
“We are really using all resources at our disposal and treating this search operation as a top priority.”
An Air Force helicopter was launched twice yesterday during high tide and was used to scan the sea for any sign of the bodies. Nothing was found.
By afternoon, a wooden cross and flowers were spotted in the sand at the beach.
Yesterday afternoon, none of the family members of the missing men were seen on the beach.
One officer involved in the search said that they had a report of “something” floating in the water near the Port Elizabeth harbour wall, but when they arrived nothing was found.
By late afternoon, the sea search was postponed due to rough seas and weather conditions. But the land-based search continued until nightfall.
“We will be relaunching the sea search at first light but this will obviously be dependent on the weather,” Beetge said.
Twenty-one rugby players from the Motherwell Rugby Football Club got into difficulty while swimming at the Bluewater Bay beach on Sunday.
Life-savers and rescue workers managed to save the majority of the bathers who were swept out to sea in a rip current.
One of the victims, Masixole Myosana, 29, was pulled from the surf a short while after the incident, but despite several attempts to revive him, he died on the scene.
Rescue workers are still searching for Avuyile Tshabalala,18, Lundi Ramba, 29, Arthur Peters, 29, Xolisa Membezi, 28, and one other player who have been missing since Sunday and presumed drowned. Yesterday, police said club management had not yet provided them with the name of the other player.