Bay shark nets snare yacht

Zululand Observer - Monday - - ZO NEWS - Tam­lyn Jolly

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.’

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