At 07h38 on Thursday the 03rd of October Port Alfred volunteers were activated following reports of the yacht HLANGANA taking water and sinking with seven crew onboard 4 nautical miles west of Boknes, in the Eastern Cape.
Keryn van der Walt, NSRI Port Alfred duty coxswain, said: “The yacht was being taken to Port Alfred, from Port Elizabeth, for routine repair when, reportedly, she ran into rocks on North reef of Bird Island at around 06h30 this morning.
“The crew had, after numerous attempts to raise the alarm, sent a radio distress message to Telkom Maritime Radio Services and then NSRI Port Alfred was activated.
“Our NSRI Port Alfred volunteer sea rescue duty crew launched two of our sea rescue craft LOTTO CHALLENGER and RESCUE 11 ALPHA and responded.
“On arrival on-scene we found the 7 crew, 6 males and a female, all aged in their 50’s except one male aged in his 20’s, from the Eastern Cape, bailing water from a semi-submerged yacht that had been holed after striking a reef.
“NSRI rescue crew were put aboard the yacht to assist to bail water and a water extrication pump was transferred onto the yacht but by that stage the yacht was listing dangerously and the decision was taken for all crew to abandon ship.
“All casualty crew and our NSRI rescuers were transferred onto our sea rescue craft and the yacht keeled over on her side lying semi-submerged.
“On instructions from MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre), in an effort to avoid a maritime navigational hazard, NSRI were instructed to attempt to sink the yacht but efforts were unsuccessful and a maritime navigational warning continues to be broadcast by Telkom Maritime Radio Services of the semi-submerged yacht floating at sea off-shore of Cannon Rocks.
“The casualty crew have been brought to Port Alfred safely aboard our NSRI sea rescue craft and no one was injured.
“The owner and skipper, Leon Naude, will decide on salvage operations or attempts will be made to scuttle the yacht.”
These pictures are available for download on Sea Rescue’s Flickr page.