A V.Ships Asia managed vessel responded to a distress call from a yacht caught gale force winds.
Whilst en-route from Santos to Chittagong on Monday 6 January 2014, the Bulk Carrier M/V JS Yangtse received a request at 0045 UTC from Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) Cape town to render assistance to Yacht “IDEFIX2”. There were two French crew members on board the Yacht which was in distress approximately off 264 NM west of Cape Town.
IDEFIX 2, not part of the Cape to Rio sailing race which took place the same day, was caught up in the same storm as the Cape to Rio yachts and became adrift at sea. The Yacht was unable to sail or motor and the two crew members used their remaining fuel to keep batteries charged for radio.
The JS Yangtse immediately proceeded towards the scene of distress at maximum safe speed, keeping in constant communication with the MRCC in order to seek advice on the drift direction of the Yacht. Experiencing gale force winds with heavy swell, the vessel arrived at the scene of distress around 0630 UTC.
Search operations were seriously hampered due to poor visibility (1-3NM), heavy weather and the fact that the yacht has lost all communications. After more than 24 hours of Search Operations with no result, the SAR operation was finally called off and the JS Yangtse was relieved of her duties by MRCC at 0839 UTC on Tuesday 7 January.
Soon after however, the MRCC received another report from the IDEFIX2 and the JS Yangtse was once again called in for assistance.
She responded to the call promptly and proceeded en-route to the new distress position. At 1111 UTC the vessel first sighted the distressed Yacht and commenced the rescue operation amidst gale force winds and 4 m of swell.
At 1140 UTC the two survivors were safely embarked on board the JS Yangtse. The MRCC was informed and the vessel was relieved of her duties at 1200 UTC to safely continue her voyage.
The vessel has since been instructed to deliver the two survivors off Green point while en-route her voyage.
The Captain and crew of JS Yangtse are commended for their efforts.