Intensive search for Sandton surf-ski racer proves futile
A SANDTON man was missing at sea late yesterday after bad weather and massive wave swells hit a weekend surf-ski race.
Mark Feather, 43, from Rivonia, was taking part in a surf-ski race from Orient Beach in East London to Yellow Sands, north of the city, on Saturday.
Prospects were grim as wreckage was washed up yesterday but there was no trace of Feather several hours later.
National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) spokesman Craig Lambinon said ships were alerted to look out for the missing man.
Aircraft, police, NSRI stations from East London, Port Alfred and Port Elizabeth and sea-rescue craft searched on Saturday and continued at first light yesterday, but the mas- sive two-day search at sea, by air and along the shoreline found no sign of Feather.
“At about 7am, part of the missing surf-ski was found along the shore at Morgan Bay and positively identified as that of Mark Feather’s surf-ski and recovered,” Lambinon said.
“As the search progressed, more debris of the surf-ski was found washed up on the shore further north, resulting in the search area being narrowed to a more concentrated area.” Feather was wearing a life-jacket and had a leash to his surf-ski.
Police between East London and further north past Morgan Bay to Transkei were on the alert and Telkom Maritime Radio Services broadcast an all-ships alert.
During the event, wind conditions increased to 47 knots and 6.5m swells, said Lambinon. By late afternoon, winds increased to 60 knots.
MISSING: Mark Feather