herald

Monday 5 December 2016

Irishwoman (49) is one of two killed after yacht capsizes

Wreckage of the yacht which ran aground on rocks off the coast of South Africa claiming the life of a 49-year-old Irish woman. Photo: National Sea Rescue Institute
Wreckage of the yacht which ran aground on rocks off the coast of South Africa claiming the life of a 49-year-old Irish woman. Photo: National Sea Rescue Institute
Wreckage of the yacht which ran aground on rocks off the coast of South Africa claiming the life of a 49-year-old Irish woman. Photo: National Sea Rescue Institute

An Irishwoman is one of two people who died after a boat capsized off the western coast of South Africa.

The 49-year-old woman was travelling in the yacht along the Western Cape of the country when the boat got into difficulty, and ended up wrecked on the shoreline.

A 66-year-old Irishman was lucky to escape the wreckage unharmed and alerted authorities, while a 61-year-old Scottish national was also fatally injured in the incident.

Emergency crews responded to reports of a yacht capsized between Bokpunt and Gansekraal on the Western Cape at approximately 4.30am local time yesterday.

Rocks

Rescue workers described finding the yacht, named 'Tara' broken up in amongst rocks on the shoreline.

The 66-year-old Irishman was the only person to survive the incident, and managed to swim ashore and raise the alarm.

The bodies of the 61-year-old Scottish man and a 49-year-old Irishwoman were located and recovered from the scene.

Their bodies have been taken into the care of the local Western Cape Forensic Pathology Services.

All three had been residing in the locality for some time.

South African authorities are not releasing the names of the deceased and the sole survivor until their next of kin and family members had been informed.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed they are aware of "the death of an Irish citizen in the Western Cape and consular assistance is being provided".

Craig Lambinon, a spokesman for the National Sea ­Rescue Institute (NSRI) which oversaw the rescue and ­recovery operation, told the Herald that the circumstances surrounding the crash were still unclear, adding that "an inquest docket has been opened by police".

Rescue

"An NSRI Melkbosstrand sea rescue craft was launched and NSRI rescue vehicles, from Yzerfontein and Melkbosstrand, the SA Police Services, WC Government Health EMS and an EMS rescue squad and a Police Dive Unit responded," Mr Lambinon said.

"NSRI Table Bay's deep sea rescue craft was placed on alert. We are not releasing the names of those involved at this time until their families have been notified, and the incident is now a matter for the Western Cape Police Department."

The fatal incident is also under investigation by the South African Maritime Safety Authority.

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