Stricken yacht missing off KZN coast

2011-09-26 17:16

Johannesburg - Rescue craft were searching on Monday for a 42-foot catamaran in trouble off the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said.

"The vessel has a rope fouled around one propeller, making one of her two motors unusable, a torn sail, and an overheated second motor," said NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon.

Three members of the six-person crew of the Tholile were severely dehydrated after prolonged seasickness. The crew, all from Durban, comprised five men and one woman.

Rescuers believed the yacht had drifted far south as a result of a 25-knot south-easterly wind and was caught in the south-flowing Agulhas current. She was drifting in a 4m swell and had sprung a leak which the crew had stemmed.

On Monday, she was 40 nautical miles offshore, south of Port Edward.

Rescuers were however battling to find her, and it was thought her GPS system was faulty.

The NSRI Shelly Beach and NSRI Port Edward were out on Monday with two rescue craft searching for the vessel.

"Our priority is to get floating rescue craft to her side and to render some medical assistance to the three seasick crew members," Lambinon said.

NSRI Durban had launched its deep-sea rescue craft loaded with extra supplies.

Mark Harlen, NSRI Shelly Beach station commander and operations commander for this rescue operation, said a major rescue was underway.

"NSRI volunteers have been summoned to their respective sea rescue bases to assist in manning the NSRI control rooms should the operation continue into Monday evening," he said.

  • Counter-spin - 2011-09-26 17:21

    Sound like a booze cruise gone wrong.

      Grayman - 2011-09-26 18:27

      @Counter-spin: There are times where trolls are witty, times when they can actually stimulate healthy debate ... but those are few and far between. In this case you are neither. Now be a good troll and delete your comment before anyone else realises how silly you have been.

      philip - 2011-09-26 19:18

      the quickest word that comes to mind is you'r a idiot.

  • Cliff - 2011-09-26 17:30

    God bless the rescue team and the crew! I would rather sit on dry land and long to be out at sea than to be out at sea and long to be on dry land!

  • Pierre du Plessis - 2011-09-26 17:42

    They are living their dreams. Freak accidents can occur. I hope they find them soon.

  • Heinster - 2011-09-26 17:53

    I hope they are found then they can make an episode of I shouldn't be Alive

  • rudi.schwarz1 - 2011-09-26 17:54

    So encouraged to see that my small monthly donation to NSRI is put to good use in the rescueing of lives. Will keep all crews and family in prayer.

  • Bill - 2011-09-26 20:25

    I know Tholile, it is a new catamaran moored a few moorings up from my own yacht, I'm surprised they are in trouble...! But then, If you can afford a 42-foot catamaran, then you can afford and EPIRB and get located immediately, crazy that they don't have one onboard...! Hope they are going to be okay…!

      Cliff - 2011-09-26 22:35

      All my prayers are with them too Bill but what you say makes one think that due care might have been overlooked.

      The observer - 2011-09-26 22:56

      The NSRI have located them and got them in tow.

  • Gareth Watt - 2011-09-26 23:00

    Shocking reporting News24. You cannot drift south in a south easterly wind as the wind would blow you north-west and the Agulhas current flows north off the west coast of South Africa

  • Natasha - 2011-09-26 23:40

    aan my man op daai yacht ek bid vir jou en hoop n ek en die seuns sien jou gou liefde jou vrou natasha

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