Geoff McGregor, NSRI East London station commander, said: During the afternoon of Thursday, 29th December, NSRI East London duty crew launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Lotto following a request for assistance from skipper Wayne Sparg on the commercial fishing craft Captain Morgan, with 6 crew onboard, 2 women and 4 men, experiencing motor mechanical failure off-shore of Gulu, about 12 nautical miles down the coastline, West of East London.
Following a days fishing, with a charter crew onboard, they had tried to start their motors but, not being able to, they raised the alarm.
On arrival on the scene we found our ex-sea rescue craft, previously named Nora Whitmore. She had been in service for over 20 years as our NSRI East London sea rescue craft and was purchased by Wayne after completing her years of service for sea rescue East London.
Wayne re-named her Captain Morgan, but he registered her name as Captain Nora in order to keep a part of her original name with the boat.
Wayne’s daughter recently joined Sea Rescue and he helps us with training. He was Vice Commodore of the Ski-Boat Club, and at a ceremony held recently we issued Captain Morgan a ‘Free Tow’ certificate, (although we don’t charge for towing craft it was a token gesture because Captain Nora aka Captain Morgan is our ex-sea rescue craft), not realising that the certificate would be presented sooner than later.
We set up a tow-line and towed her to the Port of East London, a bit emotional that our ex-sea rescue craft who had been involved in so many rescue operations was now getting to be ‘rescued’ herself.
The crew of Captain Morgan cast trawling lines off the back of Captain Morgan while we were towing her towards East London and they landed a fair sized yellow fin tuna during the tow back to port.
One crewman quipped “always hard at work” when the fish was landed (in reference to her doing her job just like the old days even if her situation was compromised).
Once safely in port they required no further assistance.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE