At 23h00 on Thursday the 13th of June Gordons Bay volunteers were called out by the Transnet National Ports Authority to assist the yacht DOUBLE HELIX which had mainsail damage and motor failure off Kleinmond.
Brian Kingston, NSRI Gordons Bay deputy station commander, said:”The yacht, taking part in the Southern Cross Off-shore Challenge, a regatta from Gordons Bay to Mossel Bay, had left Gordons Bay earlier in the day and had then had sail damage off Hangklip. While motoring back towards Gordons Bay their motor had mechanical failure and they raised the alarm, requesting assistance in sea conditions of 3 meter rough swells and 30 to 35 knots North Westerly wind.
They had rigged a storm sail and were limping towards Gordons Bay.
“Our duty crew launched JACK RILEY and rendezvoused with the yacht and her 4 crew (3 men and a woman) 2 miles past Pringle Bay. They were safe but needing a tow to Gordons Bay.
“We rigged a towline and towed them to Gordons Bay harbor arriving this morning at 05h00 (Friday, 14th June).
At 07h00 on Friday the 14th of June Agulhas were placed on alert following reports from the yacht DODO, also taking part in the Southern Cross Challenge, which had a broken boom and a damaged mainsail, but were limping towards Struisbaai under motor power.
“NSRI Agulhas monitored their progress during the morning while a third yacht, also taking part in the same yacht regatta, limped into Struisbaai under her own power suffering similar storm damage to her mainsail.
“At 11h00 all communications with DODO were lost without explanation and MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) and Telkom Maritime Radio Services stepped in to assist in trying to locate the yacht while NSRI Hermanus were also placed on alert, considering that the yacht may have drifted closer to the Hermanus area.
“At midday Telkom Maritime Radio Services raised the yacht via VHF radio communications and the yacht reported to be 5 nautical miles from Struisbaai, making slow progress under motor power into 3 to 4 meter swells and a 26 knot gusting headwind.
“The decision was taken for the NSRI Agulhas duty crew to launch VODACOM RESCUER VII and we rendezvoused with the yacht and took her under tow.
“During the tow towards Struisbaai the yachts motor failed confirming that it had been the best decision to go and fetch her.
“We towed the yacht to a safe mooring in Struis Baai and the crew will wait out the bad weather before effecting repairs.”