At 06h15 on Sunday the 4th of August NSRI East London volunteers were activated following reports of the 36 foot yacht BOUNDLESS reporting to have run aground at Cebe, approximately 450 km by road from East London, on the Transkei Coast.
Geoff McGregor, NSRI East London station commander, said: “The crew, a husband and wife, Graham and Sheryl Anley, and their Jack-Russel dog Rosie, all wearing life-jackets (the dog wearing a specially tailored dog life-jacket which has its own emergency strobe light attached), had managed to swim to shore safely after their boat hit a reef in the early hours of this morning and they raised the alarm after reaching shore.
“Graham is an NSRI Plettenberg Bay volunteer.”
“We dispatched an EC Government Health EMS rescue helicopter and on arrival on-scene they found the crew and dog safely ashore and not injured and the yacht severely damaged and high and dry on the high water mark.
“Sherryl and Rosie were airlifted by the EMS rescue helicopter to our East London sea rescue base and a family back-packers lodge near to the scene are assisting Graham.
“The EMS rescue helicopter crew had assisted to secure the yacht to the shore and personal belongings have been recovered from the yacht prior to departing for East London.
“Efforts will be made by the couple to to arrange to salvage what they can of their yacht.
“Sheryl and Rosie will return to the scene today and they will be assisted by the family of the back-packers lodge and take a few days to assess the situation and salvage what they can of the yacht.
“Graham and Sheryl have respectively requested not to be contacted by media and NSRI will field any questions.
“Graham told us they were headed on a 3 month break to Madagascar. Off Transkei they ran into very rough weather with wave heights of 7 meters which, despite their lowering sails and going onto motor power, eventually dragged their boat ashore and onto a reef.
“As the incident happened Graham sent a Mayday radio distress call and activated the EPIRB (Global Positioning Distress beacon) but they were immediately forced to abandon ship and he first swam Rosie ashore safely before returning for his wife whose safety line had snagged on the steering gear.
“Once safely ashore he raised the alarm by cell-phone.
“Graham admits it is humbling, after 22 years as an NSRI volunteer, to have the shoe on the other foot and need to be rescued.”
NSRI have expressed our delight that they are safe.
This photograph is available from the Sea Rescue Flickr page for media use.