The Star Early Edition
Mom, son rescued from rough seas
THE SA Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) will investigate a failed attempt by a woman and her son to paddle a boat from Cape Town to Brazil after they were rescued by the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) on Saturday, the day after they set off.
NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon said the saga began on Friday when NSRI Bakoven launched the sea rescue craft Rotarian Schipper to deliver a tracking device to the paddle boat Herbivore.
The boat was crewed by 50-year-old Robyn Wolff from Durban and her son Davey du Plessis, 27, from Cape Town.
“In rough sea conditions the tracking device, which they had apparently mistakenly left behind, was delivered to the paddle boat in Table Bay and they continued on their voyage,” Lambinon said yesterday.
Around 9am on Saturday, the woman’s concerned husband asked NSRI Yzerfontein to search for the boat as their tracking system appeared to show them adrift 10 nautical miles offshore.
While NSRI Yzerfontein was placed on alert, no formal distress had been called by the paddle boat.
“As a precaution, NSRI Yzerfontein launched the sea rescue craft Rotary Onwards, but with no direct communication with the crew on the paddle boat, and only a last known position being recorded six hours earlier, no sign of the casualty boat could be found in the rough sea conditions,” Lambinon said.
The Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre also placed an SA Air Force aircraft on alert, but with still no formal distress call from the crew, no action was necessary.
“Later on Saturday afternoon, NSRI Table Bay were activated following a request for assistance from the two crew on the paddle boat reporting that the 50-yearold female was suffering severe motion sickness.”
Wolff and Du Plessis were taken off their boat onto the sea rescue craft, and the boat was towed to Dassen Island and left there.
The pair would make arrangements to recover their paddle boat from Dassen Island, and Samsa would investigate, Lambinon said. – ANA