Search for missing woman called off, yacht returns to Durban

2015-06-21 14:46
Aerial view of the yacht Oryx from rescue helicopter. (NSRI)

Aerial view of the yacht Oryx from rescue helicopter. (NSRI)

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Durban - The husband of missing 58-year-old Carly Hill was so adamant he had to find her that he ignored National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) advice to return to shore on Friday.

NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said on Sunday Peter Hill had been forced to come in closer to shore to get signal to raise the alarm after realising his wife was missing. Then, despite the NSRI’s suggestion that he return to Durban, Hill returned to the search area.

“He was adamant that he was not going to leave the search area, even though it was not safe to stay at anchor,” said Lambinon.

The catamaran from which 58-year old Carly Hill disappeared has since docked in Durban, the NSRI said.

Search called off

Lambinon said search operations by the NSRI had been called off and that Peter Hill had docked the yacht in Durban on Saturday evening and was staying with family.

The Hills were sailing from Durban to Madagascar, having left Durban on Thursday, when tragedy struck.

Lambinon said Peter had raised the alarm after waking on Friday and finding his wife missing from the catamaran, some six nautical miles offshore from the Tugela River mouth. The search operation has focused on sea drift, prevailing currents and wind speed, as well as direction.

He said that despite three NSRI boats, three helicopters and a fixed wing aircraft, the search for Carly had proved fruitless.

Telkom Maritime Radio Service was continuing to broadcast an all ships alert, Lambinon added.

Missing persons investigation

Police have opened a missing persons investigation into the incident and the South African Maritime Safety Authority has been informed.

He said it was likely that Hill would have given a statement to police upon his arrival, but that he was staying with family in Durban in the meantime.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo confirmed that police were carrying out a missing person investigation.

The Oryx had been released back to Hill and was no longer needed for investigations.

"There is no evidence to suggest any foul play at this stage," Naidoo said.

Read more on:    nsri  |  durban  |  search and rescue  |  maritime

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