At 16h47, Sunday, 01 November, NSRI Table Bay crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority following reports of the yacht MORNING WING calling a Mayday distress call from inside the Port of Table Bay along the Eastern Mole at Duncan Dock.
Our NSRI Table Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crew launched our sea rescue craft SPIRIT OF VODACOM and responded while other vessels in the area went to investigate the nature of the Mayday distress call.
Initially the Mayday distress call suggested that both crew onboard, skipper Dylan Phelan, from Three Anchor Bay, and an unknown adult crewman had been injured in an incident.
On arrival on-scene we found the 6.5 meter yacht MORNING WING had been blown, in a 45 knot South Easterly wind, and jammed between the Quayside and the 150 meter research vessel, the MV TOP ESTRELA DO MAR, at her mooring alongside the Quay, and wedged between the Quayside and the research vessel and the yacht was at risk of being sucked under the research vessel and under the Quayside in the strong winds.
Her mast had been damaged during the ordeal.
Both crew had managed to get off the yacht onto the Quayside and the unidentified crewman, who had reportedly been suffering from an episode of Asthma, had already left the scene by private vehicle and we suspect that he went to hospital for treatment.
The skipper was safe and unharmed.
We were able to get a tow-line to the casualty craft and we towed her into the channel of Duncan Dock where we rafted our sea rescue craft alongside the yacht and took her to a safe mooring at the Royal Cape Yacht Club.
Once safely moored we dismantled the yachts damaged mast which was at risk of being blown onto other yachts and to avoid damage to any other yachts the mast was dismantled and the mast has been safely placed away from causing any danger or damage.
It appears that the yacht had been caught in the strong winds which funnel through the Port and it appears that the skipper was unable to steer and motor his yacht into the headwind and away from danger before the yacht was blown into the research vessel and then jamming in between the research vessel and the Quayside.
The skipper had broadcast a Mayday distress call when he realised that the yacht would be smashed into the research vessel and the Quayside and there appeared to be nothing he could do to prevent the collision and he may have hoped that any nearby vessel could come to his aid and tow him away from danger to avoid the collision and the possible threat to his own life and that of his crewman that may have been posed by the impending collision. No vessel reached the yacht before the collision which has caused substantial damage.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE.
SMS 32287 with your name and a message of support for our Sea Rescue crew