Monday 18 December 2017

Dating agency boss's husband raised alarm after yachting disaster


Rachel McGrath
Rachel McGrath

The husband of a Dublin woman who died in a tragic yachting accident in South Africa managed to get to the shore to raise the alarm, it has emerged.

Rachel Daly (49), originally from Killiney in Dublin, had been on a trip with her husband PJ Daly (66) and Scotsman George Mills (61) when the terrible tragedy unfolded on the West Coast of Cape Town on Monday, at 4.30am local time.

It is understood that the boat they were sailing in was smashed to pieces by rocks.

A major rescue operation was launched after reports that a yacht had capsized between Bokpunt and Gansekraal.

Crews were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority, including the launch of a sea rescue craft.

On arrival at the scene, the yacht "Tara" was found broken up amongst rocks on the shore, the emergency services reported.

It said that it was unknown what had caused the yacht to run aground, and that the South African Maritime Safety Authority will investigate the incident.

The bodies of Mrs Daly and Mr Mills, who were both residents in the Western Cape, were located and recovered from the scene. The yacht had been reportedly sailing from Langebaan to Cape Town when tragedy struck.

Mr Daly had managed to get to shore and he had raised the alarm.

Mrs Daly - whose maiden name was Rachel McGrath - had been well known in Dublin social circles and had set up a popular dating agency.

Her parents ran a chain of washeteria outlets in Dublin, but her father died many years ago and her family have moved from the area.

Rachel was a former pupil of the Holy Child National School in Killiney and later went on to study at Dublin Business School and the Digital Marketing Institute.

In 1995, she set up the Who's Who For The Unattached dating agency.

She ran this successful agency for 13 years as managing director, and claimed to have started thousands of relationships through the business.

Rachel also worked in fashion retail, outdoor catering and event management at managerial level.


The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that it was providing consular assistance to the family of a woman who had died in South Africa.

Chris 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 accident were still unclear, and added that "an inquest docket has been opened by police," he said.

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