Thursday, July 28, 2005

Sailor Presumed Drowned

The remaining two crew members on board the yacht 'Mystic Lady' were brought safely to Port St Francis in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday night, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said. Spokesperson Craig Lambinon said the two members, a man and a woman from New Zealand and Germany, were stranded off the coast near Port Elizabeth on Tuesday morning after a third crew member fell overboard.
"The yacht had a crew of three and the man fell into six-to-seven metre swells about seven nautical miles off-shore of Cape St Francis," Lambinon said. NSRI station commander Clive Shamley said the institute launched its seven-metre inflatable rescue boat 'Spirit of St Francis'. Other nearby vessels and a police helicopter joined an immediate search of the area. "On (our) arrival the search continued until all efforts and possibilities had been exhausted," said Shamley. "The search has been called off and the crewman is presumed to have drowned." Shamley said vessels in the area had been requested to keep a sharp eye and the NSRI would react to any new information. The crew of 'Mystic Lady' were sailing from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town when the incident occurred. The missing sailor, presumed to have drowned, is suspected to be from the United Kingdom and officials from the UK, locally and abroad, have been informed and are taking all the necessary steps to assist further, said Lambinon. He said the two crew members brought to safety do not wish to be identified. They are safe and are staying with friends.

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