The Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) confirmed from radio transmissions made between Telkom Maritime Radio Services, the bulk carrier CMA CGM Rossini, and the NSRI sea rescue craft Spirit of Lotto that both men have been found alive and well adrift at sea in a life-raft about 51 nautical miles off-shore of Kidd’s Beach, East London, NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon said.
“Both men, Jean Sitruk, 65, from Lyon, France, (Jean has been sailing abroad for the past eight years) and Kyle Castelyn, 30, from Strand, Cape Town, have requested to stay on board the CMA CGM Rossini bound for Cape Town and are due to arrive in Cape Town on Tuesday.”
They were found at about 6.25pm by the CMA CGM Rossini but confirmation could only be made once the sea rescue craft had physically reached them and confirmed that they were both safe and well and not injured, which was at around 8.10pm, he said.
The MRCC had asked the CMA CGM Rossini, one of six ships that were assisting in the search with the NSRI vessel and a SA Air Force helicopter, to go back to the last known position of the emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) and to search between there and where the catamaran was physically located.
“Although that area had been searched earlier it was decided in the fading light to make best use of the last light to re-cover all ground and it was in this leg of the search effort that a life-raft was located with both men.
“The CMA CGM Rossini came alongside the life-raft after reporting that the two men were rowing towards them and took both men on board their ship.
“Both men are reported to be in good spirits and understandably all of the people involved in the search and rescue operation are overjoyed. The families of the two men have been informed with the good news,” Lambinon said.
Together with the NSRI East London sea rescue craft Spirit of Lotto and the SAAF 15 Squadron Oryx helicopter, six ships assisted in the search and rescue operation – the bulk carriers Shin Heiru and Cape Olive, the container ships CMA CGM Rossini, Mare Atlanticum, and Northern Justice, and the oil chemical tanker STI Mythos.
“They are commended for their efforts today [Sunday]. MRCC have released them to continue on their voyages,” he said.