Man overboard a sailing yacht missing at sea

On Thursday evening (27th September) , the NSRI in Hermanus and Agulhas were activated following a Mayday distress call, reporting a man overboard a yacht.

The Silver Girl, sailing in a race, from Simonstown to Mossel Bay, reported that their skipper, Melvin Rautenbach, fallen overboard after their yacht was struck by a wave 10 nautical miles off Quoin Point.

The NSRI conducted an extensive search for the missing sailor, in rough sea conditions with a 25 knot West North Westerly wind and 5 meter swells, which continued into the early hours of Friday.

The yacht suffered a damaged tiller arm and motor failure with the crew adrift at sea and in no imminent danger while NSRI continued a search.

Despite an extensive search no sign of the missing skipper has been found.

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Sea conditions grew increasingly unfavourable as the search progressed and sea swells exceeded 6 meters.

During the early hours of Friday morning the search was suspended and the NSRI Hermanus towed the casualty craft to the Hermanus harbour.

Telkom Maritime Radio Services continue to broadcast radio messages to alert vessels in the area to keep watch for the missing sailor.

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