Sunday 27th May 2012. 2 incidents:
Incident 1: Yacht with rudder loss safely towed to Port:
Terry McMann and his girlfriend on board his yacht Libertas requested assistance after they lost rudder control 1.5 nautical miles east of Roman Rock lighthouse in False Bay.
Darren Zimmerman, NSRI Simon’s Town station commander said that the duty crew launched Spirit of Safmarine III and Eddie Beaumont II and the yacht was towed to False Bay Yacht Club.
Incident 2: Yacht guided home:
Then at 17h00 NSRI Simon’s Town duty crew were placed on alert after yacht club members at False Bay Yacht Club said that they had dropped three fellow members off in Gordons Bay earlier in the day, and that they planned to sail their 26 foot sailing boat Kayo back to Simon’s Town. They departed at 10h00 and estimated arrival time in Simon’s Town for 17h00 but they had not arrived in as scheduled and attempts to contact them had failed.
Darren Zimmerman said that the 3 sailors, skipper Sean Poole with crew Graham Heslop and Gareth Meggs are all in their early 20’s.
When still no contact had been made with the yacht by 18h00, fearing that the 3 men were in trouble, NSRI Simon’s Town prepared to launch our sea rescue craft and NSRI Gordons Bay duty crew and the EMS Skymed helicopter were activated.
NSRI Strandfontein was also placed on alert.
Sea Rescue Coast Watchers were alerted along the False Bay Coast to act as spotters from elevated positions but no sign of the yacht could be seen.
Following a brief search AMS helicopter, Skymed, found the yacht near to Seal Island. It appeared to be sailing along fine, and the rescue helicopter ‘buzzed’ them a few times. They then realizing that a search had been launched for them and the men turned on their cellphones. They reported that all was in order, they weren’t in any difficulty, and that they were heading towards Simon’s Town expecting to arrive in an hour.
At 19h00, after sunset, the men called to say that they were approaching Simon’s Town but needed directions as they were unsure of the approach into Simon’s Town harbour. Spirit of Safmarine III was launched and they were guided to the False Bay Yacht Club under escort.