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NSRI Durban duty crew launched the NSRI Durban rescue craft Spirit of Surfski 6 to assist a dismasted sailing yacht into Port.

NSRI Durban had been placed on alert some 2 weeks ago, by MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre), with knowledge of the Global Solo Challenge sailing yacht, with a solo sailor onboard, that had reported to be in distress deep sea on the Indian Ocean after dismasting some 25 days ago.

NSRI were made aware, by MRCC, that the sailing yacht was headed towards the Port of Durban, and requesting NSRI Durban to be on alert while the yacht was being monitored on her progress.

The call for NSRI Durban to launch a rescue craft to rendezvous with the yacht, to assist her into Port under her own motor power, came during the early hours of Monday morning.

Initially NSRI Durban were due to escort the sailing yacht into Port but at around 06h00 it was reported that the she had experienced motor mechanical failure and NSRI Durban were requested to tow her into Port.

NSRI Durban duty controllers, NSRI EOC (Emergency Operations Centre), Telkom Maritime Radio Services, TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority) Durban Port Control, Police Sea Borderline Control and Global Solo Challenge coordinators, in cooperation with the casualty solo sailor, assisted MRCC in logistics and the coordination of the assistance operation.

We rendezvoused with the casualty sailing yacht 10 Nautical miles off-shore of Durban where a towline was rigged and in favourable sea conditions we towed her into Port.

The mast lying across her foredeck contributed to a rather challenging effort to safely moor her at the International moorings which was achieved without incident and once safely moored no further assistance was required.

A statement, released by Global Solo Challenge, on their website, paying tribute to the "patience, seamanship and determination," of Finnish sailor, Ari Känsäkoski, onboard the dismasted Class 40 sailing yacht Fuji, "to reach Durban in a voyage from a remote area of the Indian Ocean back to safety, through many difficulties as well as the selfless help of those who offered Ari crucial help during this time." is attached:

NSRI commend Ari and all those who contributed in assisting him and his yacht to safety.

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