East London man missing, yacht and crew towed to port

A 22 year-old East London man is missing in the East London surf .

Despite despite an extensive search he has not been found.

Geoff McGregor, NSRI East London station commander, said this afternoon, 15 February, NSRI East London volunteer duty crew responded to Eastern Beach following reports of two people in difficulty in the surf.

“All 3 of our NSRI rescue craft were at sea at the time nearby to the scene and responded and the SAP and EC Government Health EMS rescue helicopter responded (with an NSRI rescue swimmer on board).

“Buffalo City Municipality (BCM) lifeguards, on duty at the beach, rescued a local male believed to be 21 years-old, who was transported to hospital in a serious but stable condition. “Our NSRI rescue craft and the EMS helicopter joined the BCM lifeguards in a search for the remaining missing male, a 22 year old local.

“Police are continuing a search and have opened an inquest docket. It is suspected the two men were swimming at the time and may have been caught in rip-currents.”

In a separate incident last night , Friday 15 February, at 9.30 pm NSRI East London volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated following a request for assistance from the yacht Kyena II, with 2 male crew on board, reporting to have a damaged motor, damaged sails and adrift at sea.

“The yacht, sailing from Richards Bay, suffered storm damage to her motor and to her sails while sailing through Transkei waters,” McGregor said. “They managed to sail closer towards East London before their makeshift sails failed and they called for assistance while adrift at sea.

“Our NSRI East London volunteer sea rescue duty crew launched our sea rescue craft Lotto Rescuer and responded to rendezvous with the yacht. We also instructed the skipper of the yacht to lay out a drogue to slow the yacht’s drift.

“On arrival on-scene, 30 nautical miles from East London, in 2 meter swells, we took the casualty yacht under tow and towed her safely to the Port of East London where once berthed, at 3.30 this morning, 16 February, they required no further assistance. No injuries were sustained. The crew will effect repairs to the yacht.



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