A dead sailor, found aboard a yacht that washed ashore at a beach in Southbroom on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast on Saturday, has been identified, provincial police have confirmed.
The 69-year-old man is a French citizen whose name is known to authorities as a passport had been found in his possession, spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala told News24.
National Sea Rescue Institute spokesperson Craig Lambinon in a statement said its Port Edward duty crew were activated after reports of the vessel washing ashore was received at about 06:30.
Police at the scene confirmed the body of a man was found on the yacht. Gwala said the corpse had already started decomposing.
Lambinon said the remains had been taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.
An inquest docket has been opened.
The South African Maritime Safety Authority and the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre are also investigating.
"NSRI, Police and emergency services assisted to secure the yacht [which was] hard aground. [They] are being assessed by SAMSA and salvors to be appointed to secure the yacht and to have the yacht removed to a secure holding site."
Gwala said the man had been sailing from Port Elizabeth to Durban.
His name has not yet been released as authorities were in the process of informing his next of kin of his death, she added.