Cape Town family catches up with captain who saved their son's life

2016-06-08 10:02
CMA CGM Rossini chief engineer Lyes Lassel, Kyle Castelyn, and Captain Hervé Lepage shortly after the rescue. (Supplied NSRI)

CMA CGM Rossini chief engineer Lyes Lassel, Kyle Castelyn, and Captain Hervé Lepage shortly after the rescue. (Supplied NSRI)

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Cape Town – While nothing could return the favour for saving his son's life, Ray Castelyn this week hosted the French bulk carrier captain who rescued Kyle and fellow yachtsman Jean Sitruk from the ocean, to show his appreciation.

The Strand family took Captain Hervé Lepage on a tour of the sights and sounds of Cape Town, while he shared insight on how he and his crew had rescued the pair, Ray told News24 on Tuesday.

Lepage, of the bulk carrier CMA CGM Rossini, picked the two up after their yacht struck a whale and capsized off the Wild Coast in October last year.

French skipper Sitruk and Castelyn were en route from Durban to Cape Town at the time.

The unlucky incident led to an intensive two-day search and rescue attempt by the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI).

The bulk carrier eventually located the men, clinging to a rubber duck, without most of their supplies, off Kidd's Beach near East London.

Lepage accepted an award of thanks from the NSRI on Monday night.

'A very big thing'

"It was great to be there at the ceremony with the captain. We are very fortunate that they found him," Ray said.

"For him to rescue these two from a small rubber duck was a very big thing."

He said he had a gut feeling during the entire search that the two were still alive.

He said they had always used the rubber duck for diving when they stopped the catamaran at ports.

"When they told me they found the capsized catamaran, I said they will be on the rubber duck."

Lepage was due to return to La Rochelle in France on Wednesday.

Kyle, 20, meanwhile, left the country last month to work as a scuba diving instructor in the Maldives for a year.

"With the yacht [having capsized], he lost all his diving equipment. But in the end, everyone read about his story and he got new stock at discounted prices."

Read more on:    nsri  |  cape town  |  search and rescue
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