Sea Rescue – East London – Tuesday, 12 October, 2010. Yacht rescued from Storm.
Geoff McGreggor, Sea Rescue East London station commander said: “At 05h15 the Sea Rescue East London volunteer duty crew were activated following a request for urgent assistance from the 12 metre yacht Sunset Cruiser with 3 Cape Town males onboard reporting complete loss of steering and motor failure, but in no urgent or immediate danger, in 5 to 6 metre swells and a 30 knot North westerly wind, approximately 30 nautical miles off-shore in a Westerly direction of East London.
“Boat owner Graham Manchip, 56, from Panorama, Cape Town, reported that they had sustained up to more than 8 metre breaking swells crashing over the yacht during the night in gusting over 40 knot South Westerly winds while they were trying to sail the yacht, with harnesses tied to the yacht as their only lifeline preventing them from being washed overboard, (in the Agulhas Current), after leaving Richards Bay and committed to reaching their destination – The Royal Cape Yacht Club in the Port of Table Bay – after purchasing the yacht in Richards Bay and embarking on the voyage Saturday evening at 6p.m. and expecting to reach Cape Town, weather depending, in around 5 to 6 days.
“Graham told us that during the night they had struggled to get the engines to turn and in the early hours of the morning they discovered that rope had fouled their propellers and sheered their rudder leaving them adrift and at the mercy of the rough sea conditions.
“They radioed a distress call, which was intercepted by Maritime Radio Services, reporting to be safe and in no immediate danger but confirming that they required to be rescued, unable to continue on their voyage.
“NSRI East London volunteers launched our rescue craft Lotto Rescuer at 06h00 and on arrival on-scene at 10h30 a search commenced to find the yacht in progressively deteriorating conditions. With sea swells up to 6 metres and 30 knot South Westerly, rain, thunder and lightening, the yacht, which had drifted over two nautical miles was located at 12h20 and a tow-line was rigged.
“Once we got past the Agulhas Current sea conditions settled considerably and the yacht and her three crew were towed safely to port arriving at 17h30 and safely berthed at 18h00.
“Owner of the yacht Graham Manchip and his crew, skipper Tom Ambrose and crewman Marius Saunders, all from Cape Town, will evaluate repairs to the yacht in the morning before deciding on a course of action.”