Woman missing off yacht Oryx near Durban

Breaking… An extensive sea and aerial search is currently underway this afternoon for a 58 year-old South African woman who went missing off the yacht Oryx offshore of Durban this afternoon.

NSRI Durban Megan II

Photo: from NSRI: Durban’s Megan II, one of the Sea Rescue boats involved in the search for the missing woman.

She and her husband left Durban yesterday on board the yacht and were sailing to Madgascar. The woman is originally from Johannesburg, while her husband is originally from the UK.   The husband, who was also the skipper, apparently fell asleep and when he awoke he says she was no longer on board. The NSRI Durban reports that 1.30 today, 19 June, the volunteer Durban and Richards Bay duty crew a were activated by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following a report of a female missing off the yacht, 6 nautical miles off-shore of the Tugela River Mouth (between Durban and Richards Bay). Despite an initial search the skipper found no sign of his wife. The extensive sea, shore and air search and rescue operation involves NSRI Durban’s sea rescue craft Eikos Rescuer II and Megan II, NSRI Richards Bay’s sea rescue craft Spirit Of Richards Bay, sea rescue vehicles from Durban and from Richards Bay, a Natal Sharks Board fixed wing aircraft, a Durban TNPA rescue helicopter and a Richards Bay TNPA rescue helicopter, accompanied by NSRI ASR rescue swimmers and an SA Air Force 15 Squadron Oryx helicopter, plus NSRI ASR rescue swimmers. The search is concentrated in the vicinity off-shore of the Tugela River Mouth approximately 6 nautical miles off-shore and Southwards towards Durban.


Update at 8.20 pm: 

NSRI reported around 8 pm tonight that no sign of the missing woman was found despite an extensive shore, air and sea search.

“The yacht ORYX has anchored in the vicinity and the skipper will join NSRI Durban to continue to search from first light, 6 am tomorrow, (20 June),” the NSRI said.

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