Reinard Geldenhuys, NSRI Agulhas station commander, said: “On the morning of Wednesday, 16th January, at 02h00, NSRI Agulhas volunteer crew were activated following a request for assistance from the Yacht Atlantis, with 2 crew onboard, reporting to be running aground on a beach West of Struis Baai.
“Skipper of the casualty yacht, Mark Gielissen, from Cape Town, who lives onboard his boat, and his crewman, were sailing from Richards Bay to Cape Town, last port of call Port Elizabeth, when they sought shelter in the Bay off Struis Baai to escape gusting up to 40 knot winds and rough seas with breaking swells of up to 2 to 3 meters.
“Our NSRI volunteer sea rescue duty crew launched our sea rescue craft VODACOM RESCUER VII and NSRI rescuers responded directly to the scene where we found the yacht aground on the beach.
“Both crewmen were safe and not injured.
“12 NSRI rescuers, in wet suits, pushed the casualty boat out through the surf line and once there was enough water under her hull the yacht engaged her motors to begin motoring out through the wave line to deeper water but her rudder appears to have jammed and one motor stalled but she managed to breach through the wave line and once safely through the waves to beyond the back line our sea rescue craft took up a towline to her and has held the casualty yacht under tow until first light and we have now secured her to moorings at the Marlin Mooring in the Bay of Struis Baai securing her from washing aground through the surf.
“The yacht is damaged and one motor is damaged. She is secured at the Marlin Moorings and we will continue to monitor her throughout today and once the wind subsides we will tow her into Struis Baai harbour, expected to happen tomorrow, where they will effect repairs to their yacht before sailing on.”