Chances slim that woman survived fall overboard - son

2015-06-21 17:54
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Cape Town - The son of the woman who is believed to have fallen overboard while sailing with her husband, believes her chances of surviving are very slim.

Rescue teams from the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) on Saturday called off the search for 58-year-old  Carly Hill, an ex-nurse from Johannesburg, who went missing from the yacht Oryx.

Hill and her British husband, Peter, 65, sailed from Durban on Thursday en route to Madagascar. They took turns sleeping because someone had to keep watch throughout.

Peter raised the alarm on Friday when he woke up and realised his wife was missing.

They were about six nautical miles from the Tugela River mouth in KwaZulu-Natal when she allegedly fell overboard.

Son Dylan du Preez did not want to discuss the incident on Sunday, but commented on Facebook that he doubts that she would have survived.

“She was not wearing a life-jacket and the chance that she made it, is very slim.

“The police will keep on searching the area, but it is a less intensive search," he wrote.

He thanked people for their thoughts and prayers.

Hill's family suspects that she was swept overboard by a tidal wave.

“Maybe she bumped her head and was unconscious," Du Preez said.

The couple got married 4 years ago and have been travelling the world on their yacht for the past two years.

NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said in a statement the Transnet National Ports Authority and three NSRI-boats were deployed on Friday and Saturday to search the area and follow the search patterns plotted by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre. The Oryx also assisted in the search.

According to the statement, Peter did confirm that all life-jackets on board were accounted for. He has made every attempt to help find his wife and to raise the alarms, Lambinon said.

The NSRI's search focused on sea drift, prevailing currents and wind speed and direction.

According to the South African Weather Service, the swells were between 2m and 3m early afternoon on Friday.

Anything higher than 2.5m can be considered as turbulent seas.

By Saturday there was still no sign of Hill, and the Police search and rescue unit took over the search.

Lambinon said an missing persons case was opened. The South African Maritime Safety Authority and the British Consulate were also informed.

Peter has since sailed the Oryx back to port in Durban.

Read more on:    nsri

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