Missing South African yachtie found alive off East Cape

Large-scale searches involving helicopters had to be deployed twice for a 20-year-old inexperienced skipper  after he went missing twice.

And although authorities are still calculating the cost, the young skipper will not be billed for the search operation as it could put off others from seeking urgent help.

Authorities are planning to "talk" to Darius DeWet, from South Africa, about abandoning his journey when he finally gets to land.

He had gone missing with his 6.7m yacht Luna north of Gisborne after setting off from Hawke's Bay on Friday last week.

He failed to check in every 24 hours as he had told a friend, so a search was started on Monday.

A Philips Search and Rescue Trust plane found the yacht anchored in Anaura Bay, near Tolaga Bay.

DeWet waved to the aircraft and appeared unharmed so the plane left him.

He is believed to have no working radio communication.

Again, he did not contact anyone so another search was started yesterday.

Again he appeared unharmed. His yacht was undamaged and he was continuing to sail.

"We still can't talk to him because he's got no comms, which has been the whole problem," Maritime New Zealand spokesman Vince Cholewa said.

"He's had no working comms since Friday last week."

"We want boaties to always leave a detailed trip plan with family, a friend or a boating organisation, and to take at least two forms of communications that will work when wet. A registered distress beacon is also highly recommended for all boats,'' Roberts said.



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Source : Riz Herald Online