Troubled yacht towed to Durban

2011-09-27 07:38

Durban - The 42-foot catamaran which reported it was in trouble off the KwaZulu-Natal south coast was being towed to Durban on Monday night, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said.

"NSRI Durban's sea rescue craft Eikos Rescuer II rendezvoused with the casualty yacht at 20:45," said NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon.

"A tow-line is rigged and the tow has begun," he said. The yacht was expected to arrive in Durban on Tuesday morning.

Earlier, rescue craft were searching for the Tholile after reports that three members of the six-person crew were severely dehydrated after prolonged seasickness. The crew, all from Durban, comprised five men and one women.

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 had been drifting in a four-metre swell and had sprung a leak which the crew had stemmed.

Rescuers however had battled to find her, and it was thought her GPS system was faulty.

It appeared they had to re-boot their GPS to provide an accurate reading.

"Based on the reports from the yacht crew, they were no longer suffering from sea-sickness and had hydrated to alleviate the effects of dehydration," said Lambinon.

The yacht was eventually found by the NSRI Durban's sea rescue craft, which was towing her back to port.

  • pitbull - 2011-09-27 07:48

    Well done NSRI. What would we do without the NSRI? Support them they need us.

      Bill - 2011-09-27 08:02

      Precisely Pitbul... But unfortunately not enough people share your sentiments and don’t support them enough..!

      StBad - 2011-09-27 09:08

      R25 a month guys, that's all they ask... these guys honestly save lives!

  • Mswati - 2011-09-27 08:17

    Well done NSRI, keep up with the good work

  • Southern - 2011-09-27 08:41

    Glad they found the boat. But I wonder about the quality of that boat. GPS not working, leak, and getting into trouble in the first place. I apologize to the seafarers in distress if I am completely off the mark here.

  • trevor.james1 - 2011-09-27 08:45

    Thanks NSRI for always being there for us. Remember that a lot of rescues happen in bad weather and some at night too. They will go out in any weather conditions to rescue those in trouble. Thanks NSRI

  • Greg G - 2011-09-27 09:34

    NSRI, my Dad was aboard the yacht and I am eternally grateful! I am now staying in Australia and it is at times like these that you feel very far away! He is an avid and experienced sailor having done the Vasca Da Gama and Durban / Richards Bay runs several times, having owned several yachts over the years. I would be very interested to hear what actually happened, not having been able to talk with him yet and but thank the NSRI for their Service! He is well known among the Yachting community in Durban and has always supported the NSRI! All the best and thanks again!

  • Paul - 2011-09-27 23:45

    Mauritius via Durban you run to EL or PE using the current and leaving Durban even before the North Easterly comes through to give you a wide window.You then sit out the Westerly in EL or PE and cross the current with a North Easterly blowing where the continental shelf is narrowest.The water is also calmer if you leave before the NE comes full blown which helps everyone to get sealegs.A torn sail and a rope around the prop goes hand in hand and an engine overheating could be caused by a blocked water inlet or a broken impeller.Our beloved coast is also the most treacherous coast in the world.According to the SA Sailing Almanac waves of up to 40 mtrs can form when the Westerly blows against the mighty Agulhas current.Sometimes one has to get a boat to a certain place at a certain time and when things go wrong they seem to snowball on you.My highest respect to the NSRI,the skipper and the crew.Astory with a happy ending which could have ended very differently.I spend 8 months a year delivering catamarans all around the world and can assure you that our coast test yachts and crew like nowhere else.Better be prepared if you want to take it on.

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