16 March 2005

Stranded yacht hitches a ride

The National Sea Rescue Institute is towing a Frenchman's yacht, beached at Monwabisi Beach on Monday, to Simon's Town after refloating it at high tide on Tuesday.

NSRI Simon's Town station commander Darren Zimmerman said: "The yacht which ran aground during the early hours of Monday morning was successfully refloated at high tide.

"By 18:30, it was under the tow by the NSRI's Spirit of Freemasonry and docked at 20:10 at Simon's Town where it will be repaired."

The yacht, owned by French national Jean-Claude Royer, ran aground between Muizenberg and Gordon's Bay early on Monday.

Royer and his dog, Joe, have been sailing along the South African coastline for the past couple of months.

According to Craig Lambinon of the NSRI, Royer spent Monday night on the 7m vessel - despite having injured his knee when the yacht hit the rocks.

A motorist, Lloyd Marshall, called the organisation after seeing Royer's distress signal.

According to Lambinon, they decided to delay a salvage bid after their members failed several times to refloat the yacht.

The NSRI station commander at Strandfontein, Vaughn Seconds, said earlier on Tuesday: "The yacht looks okay and it isn't seriously damaged."

Royer apparently was en route from Hout Bay to Gordon's Bay - where the boat was to undergo repairs - when it went on the rocks.


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