Sunday 29th April 2012. Damaged yacht assisted:
NSRI Simon’s Town volunteer sea rescue crew were called out following a request for assistance from the 51 foot Chinese yacht O-Feeling with 5 sailors onboard, all from Xiamen, China. They were 15 nautical miles south of Cape Point reporting to be limping towards Cape Town after suffering some structural damage during their voyage from South America and required assistance to get into port.
The yacht, originally heading to Cape Town from Chile, South America, had a broken boom and engine failure, but the crew had managed to continue sailing towards Cape Town under foresails according to Darren Zimmerman, NSRI Simon’s Town station commander.
NSRI Simon’s Town duty crew launched the sea rescue boat Spirit of Safmarine III at 10h52 on Sunday 29th April and rendezvoused with the yacht 5 nautical miles South of Cape Point
“On arrival on-scene we found the yacht making good progress under sail and we escorted them into False Bay and then took them under tow, bringing them into Simon’s Town harbour where they will effect repairs,” said Darren.
By pure coincidence, NSRI Simon’s Town crewman Gerry Norris, duty navigator onboard Spirit of Safmarine III speaks Chinese fluently after having spent a number of years working and living in China.
“We were informed when we embarked on the rescue operation that the yachtsmen we were going to assist were Chinese and Gerry mentioned to me, as we left Simon’s Town harbour, that if there were any communication barriers he spoke Chinese fluently,” said Darren.
“With Gerry onboard, speaking to the Chinese in their home language, everything went pretty smoothly.”
Pictures for media of this rescue operation are available on Sea Rescue’s FLICKR page.