Jacques Kruger, NSRI Richards Bay duty coxswain, said:
At 12h54, Saturday, 19th May, NSRI Richards Bay duty crew launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Richards Bay to rendezvous with the 40 foot yacht Kiaru with a solo French sailor onboard.
The yacht had departed Richards Bay headed for Maputo and on Wednesday, 16th May, NSRI Richards Bay were alerted and tracked the yacht’s progress after the sailor reported mechanical and suspected sail damage deep sea and was returning to Richards Bay.
At a point during the return the yacht started to drift and was gently heading towards land from 60 nautical miles off-shore headed in a Southerly and landward drift and on the drift plot expected to eventually beach in St Lucia by around Saturday afternoon.
On Saturday afternoon, with the yacht about 7 nautical miles off-shore of St Lucia and gently drifting, NSRI St Lucia were tasked to keep a look out for the yacht and our NSRI Richards Bay sea rescue craft rendezvoused with the yacht, finding the solo sailor in good spirits, and we towed her without incident to Richards Bay where the yachtsman will carry out repairs before continuing on his voyage.
The operation was completed at 19h30.
At 06h30, Sunday, 20th May, NSRI Richards Bay duty crew launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Round Table II, accompanied by an ICE Medical Rescue rescue paramedic, to rendezvous with the Motor Vessel Nord Sirius at anchorage off-shore of Richards Bay Port.
NSRI had first been placed on alert at 21h00 on Saturday evening and the patient evacuation was arranged to be conducted at first light.
On arrival on the scene the ship lifted anchor and created a lee for our sea rescue craft.
The rescue paramedic and an NSRI rescue swimmer was put onboard the ship, and the 23 year old Filipino patient, suffering from anxiety, was medically treated by the paramedic and secured into a Stokes basket stretcher and transferred onto our sea rescue craft and transported to our sea rescue base without incident accompanied by a fellow sailor.
The patient has been transported to hospital by an ICE Medical Rescue ambulance in a stable condition in the care of paramedics.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE