Yacht gets caught in Durban shark nets

Rescue services on Monday freed a yacht that had become entangled in Durban’s shark nets.

National Sea Rescue Institute’s (NSRI) Durban Station Commander Paul Bevis said the Cat Whisker had drifted into the nets after a diesel fuel line was ruptured.

Two males aboard the yacht were never in any real danger and the vessel was towed to Durban Port where NSRI crew were diving to remove the remaining nets from the yacht’s propellers.

Bevis said the NSRI Durban, Police Search and Rescue Divers and the Natal Sharks Board had jointly sprung into action to free the yacht.

“NSRI Durban volunteers launched our 7,3m rigid inflatable rescue craft, Megan II, and two police divers from Police Search and Rescue accompanied the operation aboard our rescue craft with scuba dive gear to assist to untangle the shark nets from the yacht.

“A container with diesel was also loaded on to Megan II to refuel the yacht at sea.”

The Natal Sharks Board were activated to provide technical advice on the shark nets.

“On arrival on-scene Police Search and Rescue divers were deployed into the water and it was ascertained that the yacht’s propeller blades were damaged and the shark nets were too severely fouled around the yacht props to free her immediately,” said Bevis.

Strong winds continued to keep too much pressure on the fouled shark nets.

“It was decided to launch our bigger rescue craft to ease pressure on the shark nets by increasing tension on a tow rope rigged to the yacht,” said Bevis.

“We launched our 10m deep-sea rescue craft, Eikos Rescuer II, and on arrival on-scene tension on a towline rigged by crew aboard Megan II was taken up by Eikos Rescuer II, enabling the Police Search and Rescue Divers to get a better hold of the fouled shark nets once the pressure had slackened off the shark nets.”

Once tension on the shark nets had been reduced police divers cut the nets free.

The Eikos Rescuer II towed Cat Whisker and her crew to port.—Sapa


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