Sailor loses artificial leg, crawls ashore when yacht runs aground off Oyster Bay

A 62 year-old sailor, who lost his prosthetic leg and clothes when his yacht ran aground last night in rough seas off Oyster Bay, battled to crawl ashore to sand dunes to try to get help.

Darren Hansen, 62, from Mossel Bay is alive and safe at  Oyster Bay after his yacht ran aground in stormy seas last night. He lost his artificial  leg and clothing and had to crawl ashore for help.

Darrel Hansen, 62, from Mossel Bay is alive and safe at Oyster Bay after his yacht ran aground in stormy seas last night. He lost his artificial leg and clothing and had to crawl ashore for help. Photos above and below by Rowan Jackson. (Photos edited by St Francis Chronicle)

 Darrel Hansen from Mossel Bay  lost everything during the incident. Waves ripped his clothes from his body.  

He was found early this  morning by walkers, lying naked and exhausted on a sand dune with his shattered yacht and debris  among rocks and on the beach nearby. His attempt to get to shore was hampered by him losing his artificial leg during the incident.

 Mark Mans, NSRI Oyster Bay station commander, said at about 8 am this morning, Tuesday, 6 May, NSRI Oyster Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated following reports of a yacht run aground.

“Our NSRI Oyster Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crew responded to find solo sailor, Hansen , safe on the beach in the care of those who found him attempting to get help early this morning,” Mans said. “During a storm last night no one noticed the yacht had run aground about half a kilometre away from the edge of the Oyster Bay housing line.

“Hansen was sailing on his 8.2 meter yacht Ingrid from Mossel Bay to Port Elizabeth. He had attempted to sail his yacht into the shelter of Oyster Bay to escape rough weather but a wave capsized his boat at about 9 pm last night. The boat was washed ashore and broke up on rocks about half a kilometre away from the edge of the housing line in Oyster Bay,” Mans said.

Debris from Darren Hansen's yacht, Ingrid on the beach at Oyster Bay.

Debris from Darren Hansen’s yacht, Ingrid on the beach at Oyster Bay.

NSRI Oyster Bay volunteers took Hansen into their care and clothed and fed him. Arrangements were made to get hold of his wife in Mossel Bay. 

Most of his prosthetic leg was found among the debris but unfortunately a certain piece of the prosthetic leg that makes it usable was not found. The artificial leg will have to be repaired before it can be used.

Only minimal equipment has been recovered from the yacht which is in pieces across the shoreline. What could be salvaged will be stored at the Sea Rescue base until it can be returned to its owner.

NSRI Oyster Bay volunteers will shelter Hansen this morning. When someone from Mossel Bay can be arranged to collect him, an NSRI Oyster Bay volunteer will drive Hansen part of the way towards Mossel Bay to rendezvous with the collecting party.

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(edited)

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