Last night rescue crews from Hout Bay were presented with Letters of Appreciation for two callouts in quick succession in December 2010. This is the citation that each person was presented with. See the original rescue report here.
Letter of Appreciation to Crews of “MTU-Nadine Gordimer” & “Albie Matthews”
I am delighted to be able to recognise in this way your efforts during the callouts on the evening of 11 December 2010 to assist the two yachts “Chessie” and “Brown Eyed Girl” taking part in the round-the- world ARC event for cruising yachts and sailing in company.
A strong southeaster had been blowing for days, creating an ugly chop in conjunction with the southwesterly swells always experienced between Cape Town and Hout Bay. The wind itself was increasing in velocity and backing towards the east, building to Force 12 Extreme Storm conditions by the end of the operation. In these daunting conditions the “Chessie” had her rudder break off shortly after rounding Cape Point.
The 10 metre Brede class “MTU-Nadine Gordimer”, callsign R8, and the 7.3 metre RIB “Albie Matthews”, callsign R8A, from Station 8, Hout Bay, launched to assist at 17h30. Their crews were:
R8: James Beaumont – cox’n, Brad Geyser, Barry Purdon, Shaun Thomas.
R8A: Gordon Greeff – cox’n, Geoff Stevens, Dean Morrison, Brendon Cavanagh.
The casualty was found 6 nm southwest of Vulcan Rock. Because she could still make large course corrections and the sea conditions in the area would have made setting up a tow unnecessarily dangerous, “Chessie” was asked to steer for the entrance to Hout Bay. In the bay she was taken in tow; still a hazardous procedure because of the violent movements of the casualty craft. Both rescue boats were damaged in the process. Geoff Stevens was then put aboard “Chessie” to assist her crew, which helped considerably. With R8A acting as a brake to control the casualty’s motion in the very high wind conditions, she was successfully put alongside the Hout Bay Yacht Club marina at 19h30, with the able assistance of Yacht Club personnel and Station 8 crew.
At this moment “Brown Eyed Girl” asked for help. She had blown out two sails and despite having her engine going was being pushed down towards the Karbonkelberg. R8 and R8a responded immediately and found the yacht no more than 2nm off and heading directly towards Vulcan Rock. She was instructed to turn 90° starboard and on this point of sail was able to reach the entrance to Hout Bay. There R8 and R8A met her, set up a tow and manoeuvred her into the harbour. This is easier said than was done because of the howling storm wind then blowing. At one point, as she was being brought alongside the inner side of the North Mole, the wind caught the casualty beam on, causing her to drift sideways violently, dragging both rescue boats with her. Once alongside, the mooring process took another 1.5 hours, in appalling conditions of thick flying spray and a wind strong enough to blow people off their feet. R8 and R8A were rehoused at 22h50.
Thank you all for what you achieved that day – “it is what we do”.
With best wishes
—————————————————– 22 December 2010
Regional Director – Region 1