Please select your home edition
Edition
Predictwind - Iridium

EPIRB but not registered -four rescued crew 'lucky to be alive'

by Sail-World Cruising round-up on 18 Jun 2011
Intended route of the yacht Gulliver .. .
They set off their EPIRB but they hadn't registered it, and the resultant delay almost cost the four sailors their lives. In the incident that occurred off the coast of South Africa in the Southern Ocean this week, the four clung to their capsized catamaran then huddled in their life raft for more than nine hours waiting for rescue in five metre seas and winds up to 55 knots.

The four South African sailors, skipper Greg West and crew Frans Sprung, Shaun Kennedy and Mike Morck, were trying to outrun the bad weather when their boat capsized after a sudden strong gust of wind.

Their EPIRB, which was not registered, did not activate when the vessel capsized, which is what usually occurs. Crew member Kennedy, 34, the only crew member under 60, then swam under the upturned yacht to activate the Epirb manually. Later he also swam under the yacht to release the life raft. When they inflated it, it was swept away by the strong wind but Kennedy swam after it and retrieved it.

The crew then let off distress flares, but these were not seen. Cape Town Radio had picked up the emergency signal, which was transmitting from 12 miles off Cape Infanta, (see map), but because it had not been registered with the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Cape Town, it did not indicate which vessel the signal was coming from.

However, Greg West's wife Marcelle had become alarmed when she could not contact her husband on his cell phone. She reported to both Cape Town Radio and the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI).

NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon explained that Marcelle had raised her concerns with an NSRI volunteer in Knysna, who in turn alerted the NSRI in Mossel Bay. 'She said the last known contact had been when the yacht was off the Breede River, racing towards Mossel Bay. She said she spoke to her husband, Greg, about seven times a day, but now could not reach him,' Lambinon said.

NSRI bases in Still Bay, Witsand and Agulhas were alerted. NSRI Witsand, which was closest, at the mouth of the Breede River, set off towards the signal's position about 12 nautical miles offshore of Cape Infanta in their 5.5m inflatable rescue craft Queenie Payne, in five metre swells and 60 knot winds around 7.30pm.

NSRI Still Bay launched as back up and NSRI Agulhas went on high alert with metro emergency services with the police standing by at Witsand.

When they reached the area where the emergency signal was transmitting from, they tried unsuccessfully to contact the Gulliver on VHF radio. 'We then set off an illuminating flare and noticed a small flickering light just over a mile away, and we motored towards the light,' the rescue crew said.

'On reaching it, at about 11pm, we found the upturned yacht, a 40-foot catamaran, and all four crew were in the life raft which they had tied to the hull. They were suffering from hypothermia and shock, and we took them on to our rescue craft and began the difficult task of motoring back.

'But it was soon evident that the seven people now on board were too heavy for our rescue craft.'

Another NSRI craft was sent to assist, as were two fishing vessels, but eventually the Queenie Payne made it back on her own. The yachtsmen were taken to hospital in Riversdale, one in a serious condition.

Rian Schoeman, of Cape Town Radio, said yesterday: 'The NSRI guys were great, but at the end of the day the skipper’s wife was the real hero of the day.

'She used her initiative to tell us her husband was overdue, which enabled us to put two and two together with the signal. I hope her husband buys her a big chocolate.'

The SA Maritime Safety Authority will investigate the incident as per standard procedure, said Lambinon
............................

Letter from Reader (is this an issue with many sailors?)

Sender: Brian Gormley

Message: Glad they all survived.
Maybe like me they were refused registration by their National Authority(Ireland) because the PLB was bought in on the internet from a foreign source(UK).
Have been trying to sort out a new code without much sucess so far, conflicting advice seems plentiful.



Ancasta Ker 33 660x82NaiadPredictWind.com 2014

Related Articles

Bavaria Yachts to introduce Cruiser 34 and Nautitech 46
The Cruiser 34 will be on show at the Bavaria Yachts display at the Strictly Sail boat show at Bayside’s Miamarina The Cruiser 34 will be on show at the Bavaria Yachts display at the Strictly Sail boat show at Bayside’s Miamarina, from February 16th to 20th.
Posted on 13 Feb
Unique Transatlantic Sailing Event - Building friendship across oceans
Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, organised to celebrate Canada 150, 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. Sailing in the wake of the great explorers, international friendship and understanding is at the core of this once in a lifetime adventure - The Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, organised to celebrate Canada 150, the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation.
Posted on 10 Feb
Frigid flying – Coast Guard aircrews take on New England Winter
Freezing rain? Teeth-chattering temperatures? Limited visibility? Coast Guard aircrews are still ready to fly. Freezing rain? Teeth-chattering temperatures? Limited visibility? Coast Guard aircrews are still ready to fly. At Air Station Cape Cod, aviation maintenance and electronic technicians work around the clock to ensure the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters are prepared and ready to launch. There is one thing the maintenance crews and pilots cannot control: winter weather.
Posted on 9 Feb
On board interview with Lisa Blair - solo Antartica circumnavigation
So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. After the setbacks of a delayed departure due to gremlins in the electronics, we are delighted to have these answers from her on board. She is well and enjoying her time. Climate Action Now, her Hick 50, left Albany in Western Australia on January 22, 2017.
Posted on 8 Feb
Yachting cartoonist Mike Peyton dies at 96
“The World’s Greatest Yachting Cartoonist” died on January 25, 2017 just five days after his 96th birthday. Mike Peyton, dubbed “The World’s Greatest Yachting Cartoonist”, died on January 25, 2017 just five days after his 96th birthday. A modest, shy man, he eschewed the spotlight and seemed unaware of the esteem which in sailors all around the world held him.
Posted on 27 Jan
Zhik Xeflex® - your shield against cold environments
This radiant barrier mid-layer nearly defies description. This radiant barrier mid-layer nearly defies description. How do you make a water resistant garment that really breathes, yet reflects your own body heat back to you? Where do you find a compression resistant and extremely insulating filling that is nowhere near as bulky as the Michelin Man, yet gives you that kind of warmth and comfort?
Posted on 17 Jan
Sounds like a boat - Lisa Blair's departure delayed due to electronics
Final preparations of her yacht, Climate Action Now by Sydney-based sailor Lisa Blair have uncovered an electrical issue Final preparations and safety checks of her yacht, Climate Action Now by Sydney-based sailor Lisa Blair have uncovered an electrical issue.
Posted on 15 Jan
Lisa Blair starts Solo Circumnavigation of Antarctica
Over 3,500 people have climbed Mount Everest, only two men have sailed solo, non-stop and unassisted around Antarctica. Over 3,500 people have climbed Mount Everest, over 500 have rowed across the various oceans and 12 people have landed on the moon. Only two men have sailed solo, non-stop and unassisted around Antarctica. Sydney-based Lisa Blair, 32, intends to become the first woman, the fastest and the third person in history to conquer such a challenge.
Posted on 14 Jan
When whales meet sails
CAMPER helmsman Roberto ‘Chuny’ Bermudez found himself nearly face to face with whale in middle of North Atlantic Ocean. Currently the database for marine mammal strikes is very sparse. We are requesting sailors and boaters help to submit information on current and past incidents, however long ago that may be. By giving a location, date, identification if possible, and any other relevant information you can help scientists better understand where marine mammals are at risk for strikes
Posted on 8 Jan
Potential instability in Atlantic Ocean water circulation system
One of the world’s largest ocean circulation systems may not be as stable as today’s weather models predict One of the world’s largest ocean circulation systems may not be as stable as today’s weather models predict, according to a new study. In fact, changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) — the same deep-water ocean current featured in the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” — could occur quite abruptly, in geologic terms, the study says.
Posted on 6 Jan