In­ten­sive search for Sand­ton surf-ski racer proves fu­tile

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - STAFF RE­PORTER

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

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