At 19h15 on Thursday the 22nd of January, NSRI Hout Bay duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following a Mayday intercepted by Telkom Maritime Radio Services from the yacht TALLULAH, with 4 crew onboard, reporting loss of motor power and drifting towards rocks at Sentinel, Hout Bay, between Duiker Island and Llandudno.
Lyall Pringle, NSRI station commander, said: 'The Hout Bay duty crew were on base at the time conducting routine maintenance and immediately launched NADINE GORDIMER.
'On our sea rescue craft NADINE GORDIMER’S arrival on-scene the yacht was found safe at anchor approximately half a kilometre off-shore and the 4 crew, skipper John Seager, 63, his daughter Natalie, 21, both from Durbanville, and crewmen Johannes Brits, 61, from St James and Christopher Bennett, 64, from Noordhoek, were safe aboard the False Bay Yacht Club yacht which was returning to Simonstown in two legs from the Island of St Helena (South Atlantic) as part of the Governor’s Cup yacht race when they ran into difficulties off Hout Bay harbour, suffering rudder and steering failure. Despite trying to regain control of the yacht and motor sail out of danger in a 48 knot South Easterly wind and rough confused 2 meter sea swells the yacht was being pushed towards the rocky shoreline.
'The skipper radioed a Mayday and the experienced crew were able to deploy anchor which held fast in time to avert a disaster.
'Additional NSRI Hout Bay volunteer crew responding to the call-out launched ALBIE MATTHEWS to join in the rescue operation while NADINE GORDIMER was used to attach a tow line to the yacht while the yacht crew began to raise their anchor.
'On the arrival on-scene of ALBIE MATTHEWS a rescuer was put aboard the yacht to assist but the yachts anchor held fast and to avert complication the anchor chain was abandoned (attached to a floatation buoy) which the yachtsmen will retrieve later.
'The yacht was towed safely to Hout Bay harbour and berthed and no further assistance was required.'
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
The crew of TALLULAH with Hout Bay NSRI volunteers.
The TALLULAH is towed to safety by Nadine Gordimer.
TALLULAH at anchor before being towed to safety.