Cape Town - Rescue craft were expected to be dispatched from Hout Bay on Wednesday afternoon to continue rescue operations after rough seas affected various yachts in the Cape to Rio race, the National Sea Rescue Institute said.
“NSRI Hout Bay will launch sea rescue craft later today, 8th January, to rendezvous with the bulk carrier JS YANGTSE off-shore of Mouille Point to take over the two French crew members who abandoned their yacht IDEFIX 2 at sea, and they will be brought into the Port of Table Bay,” NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon said.
The IDEFIX 2 was not part of the race, but reported an emergency when it became caught up in the same gale force winds as participating yachts.
The yacht, which was unable to sail, was adrift at sea about 216 nautical miles off the Cape Town coast.
“The bulk carrier JS YANGTSE, the nearest ship at the time, agreed to rendezvous with IDEFIX 2 on the request of MRCC (Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre) but by the time she arrived at the co-ordinates IDEFIX 2 had drifted away and could not be found or raised by phone or radio,” Lambinon said.
“JS YANGTSE started an increasing box search plotted by MRCC, and despite at one point being released from the search, then after MRCC Reunion established contact with the yacht, JS YANGTSE eventually found IDEFIX 2 and rescued the two French sailors.”
Wednesday's rescue efforts follows similar operations on Tuesday in which two yachts were towed to safety.
The yachts had to withdraw from the race due to problems brought on by the storm.
“Tuesday, 7th January, NSRI Mykonos launched sea rescue craft to rendezvous with yacht AVA off-shore of Saldanha Bay. A tow-line was rigged and yacht AVA and her crew were brought safely into port at Saldanha Bay under the tow of the NSRI Mykonos sea rescue craft,” Lambinon said.
Ava's two crew members were treated for minor injuries.
Another yacht, ISLA, was towed safely into Table Bay harbour on Tuesday. -Sapa