The yacht Flee aground in the surf at Yzerfontein about two weeks ago. CREDIT: NSRI Yzerfontein

“On Saturday, 27th May, NSRI Yzerfontein duty crew launched the sea rescue craft Rotary Onwards to tow the yacht Flee that had beached in Yzerfontein two weeks ago,” NSRI Yzerfontein station commander Willem Lubbe said on Sunday.

Using the new moon spring tide, NSRI Yzerfontein assisted the yacht’s owner, his friends, and locals to get the yacht off the beach.

NSRI Yzerfontein towed the yacht towards Saldanha Bay and NSRI Mykonos launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Freemasonry to take over the tow in the vicinity of Kreefbaai and towed the yacht safely to Saldanha Bay without incident. All who assisted were commended for their involvement, Lubbe said.

About two weeks ago, on May 11, NSRI Yzerfontein was activated at about 9pm following eyewitness reports of a light, appearing to be navigation lights, coming from a boat close in-shore of Yzerfontein Point.

The eyewitnesses on closer inspection confirmed that there appeared to be a yacht in the surf-line and washing towards rocks at 16 Mile Beach, Lubbe said at the time.

“Our sea rescue vehicle and sea rescue quad bike were dispatched to investigate and on arrival on the scene we found a yacht washed onto the rocks and a 66-year-old Cape town man on the beach, safe and wearing a life-jacket and safety gear and he confirmed that he was the solo sailor of the yacht Flee. His yacht ran aground in swells and he had managed to get off the yacht onto the beach.”

The sailor was treated for hypothermia and the NSRI crew investigated the yacht which was found to have motor failure and her rudder had been ripped off in the grounding.

“We took the man’s personal belongings and as much loose equipment that we could off the yacht and the yacht was hard aground in the Spring low tide. He was sailing from Hout Bay to Port Owen,” Lubbe said at the time.