Bay shark nets snare yacht
A SOLO sailor entering the Port of Richards Bay in pitch darkness is lucky to still have his yacht fully intact after it became snared against the shark nets in the early hours on Friday.
‘We were called out by the port just after 1.30am and raised the code red for all crew to assist,’ said NSRI duty coxswain Jacques Kruger.
The yacht ‘Karou’ was entering Richards Bay under power when it suffered engine failure and drifted towards the shark nets, becoming entangled.
The French sailor was concerned his vessel may run aground into the dolosses on the northern breakwater.
Kruger said a harbour pilot boat was initially sent to tow the vessel but was unsuccessful.
Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) alerted the NSRI.
‘Sea Rescue craft Spirit of Richards
Bay and Spirit of Round Table II were launched.
‘The sailor was safe onboard and in no immediate danger.’
After unsuccessful attempts to pull the yacht away from the shark nets, NSRI crew had no choice but to wait until daybreak to continue the mission.
At about 5.45am the NSRI, assisted by the Sharks Board which had also arrived on scene, freed the yacht from the nets which were by this stage tangled only around the rudder.
‘All nets were cleared and Spirit of Richards Bay towed the yacht into port without incident.
‘Once safely berthed, no further assistance was required.’