Missing men found off-shore in East London

OCTOBER 19, 2015

A Frenchman and a South African man, who were reported missing at sea have been found. Both were found alive and well adrift at sea in a life-raft about 51 nautical miles off-shore of Kidd’s Beach, East London on Sunday evening.

Jean Sitruk, 65, from Lyon, France and Kyle Castelyn, 30, from Strand were found at about 18:25 by the bulk carrier CMA CGM Rossini, confirmed NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon.

"The two survivors have requested to stay on CMA CGM Rossini bound for Cape Town and are due to arrive in Cape Town on Tuesday,” he said.

The Frenchman and South African were declared missing after their catamaran was found overturned in the water.

The pair was en route from Durban to East London, maritime officials confirmed on Sunday.

Maritime rescue co-ordination centre duty controller Mark Steed earlier said that while there was no sign of survivors, the search would continue.

On Friday afternoon, a distress beacon signal was detected in the vicinity of where the French yacht, the Llama Lo, was located.

Four merchant vessels were sent to go and search the area and they found a life raft, the capsized hull and another inflatable dinghy.

However, there had been no sign of the two men.

The Rossini, one of six ships that were assisting in the search, was sent back to the last known position of the emergency distress radio beacon 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," Lambinon said in a statement.

"CMA CGM Rossini came alongside the life raft after reporting that the two men were rowing towards them and they took both men on-board their ship until the sea rescue craft got there. Both men have been taken aboard the sea rescue craft and they are not injured."

Both are reported to be in good spirits, Lambinon added.

---News24wire