Amazing survival story

A woman ran a yacht onto an Eastern Cape beach before dawn on Friday to save its skipper, who was dangling overboard, the National Sea Rescue Institute said.

Spokesman Craig Lambinon said the 26-foot Charisma left Port Elizabeth in the early hours of Thursday, headed north.

The skipper, 65-year-old Brian Duggett, went over the side in gale force winds while he was trying to start the engine at around 3.30am on Friday.

“According to their report to the NSRI, the skipper was wearing his harness (attached to the yacht) but he did not have the strength to pull himself aboard,” Lambinon said.

“He managed to hold onto the motor at the back of the yacht and yelled instructions to his crew lady to beach the yacht onto the nearest land in an effort to save his life.”

The “crew”, 21-year-old Deborah Robinson, had steered the vessel onto Boknes beach, south of Kenton-on-Sea, at about 4 am.

“The area where they have come aground is protected by an approximately one-mile-long reef but somehow the yacht, and the skipper dragging behind the yacht, made it through the reef unscathed,” Lambinon said.

NSRI Port Alfred and NSRI Port Elizabeth were alerted shortly after 8am, and found the Charisma hard aground.

Neither Duggett nor Robinson, both of Port Elizabeth, were injured.

Lambinon said the NSRI had helped remove valuables from the yacht and was assisting in salvage efforts.