Solo SA sailor rescued after plan to meet girlfriend in Caribbean goes awry

2013-12-24 13:41

A solo sailor from the East Rand, who was forced to abandon his yacht en route to the Caribbean, has been rescued.

Michael Kuun, originally from Benoni, experienced difficulties while out at sea at the weekend, said National Sea Rescue Institute station commander Pat van Eyseen.

“[He] sailed from East London to Saldanha Bay with his girlfriend, and they had picked up some problems with his 43-foot yacht,” said Van Eyseen.

“Repairs were effected at Saldanha Bay before he embarked on a solo voyage on Friday [and he] headed for St Helena Island, his ultimate destination, the Caribbean islands, where his girlfriend would meet up with him later.”

Kuun experienced more problems with his yacht as he embarked on his solo trip.

“He phoned his girlfriend who raised the alarm and on December 22, the oil tanker Aqua Fortune, sailing from Mauritania to Singapore, the nearest vessel in the general area at the time, diverted from her voyage to attempt a rescue effort.”

In the seventh attempt, the crew of the tanker eventually got Kuun out of the water and onto their vessel.

Arrangements were made to bring him back to South Africa.

He arrived in Cape Town today and was expected to fly back to Johannesburg later in the day.

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