“There is no sign of survivors, but the search is continuing,” said maritime rescue co-ordination centre duty controller Mark Steed.
Steed said that 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: “They found a life raft, and the capsized hull and another inflatable dinghy.”
However, there was no sign of the two men, known to be aboard the catamaran.
Steed said that on Sunday, arrangements were being made to get rescue swimmers down to inspect the hull.
“There is sign of damage to the hull; how it got there, we cannot say.”
It was also hoped that merchant vessels in the area might spot something significant – although weather conditions were adverse.
“The weather is very rough at the moment; there have been huge swells; there have been high winds.”
Steed said that further information about the two men could not yet be released.
NSRI say: A Search and Rescue operation coordinated by MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) is underway for the crew of a Catamaran that was found floating capsized about 50 nautical miles North East of East London (40 nautical miles off-shore of Cape Morgan).
NSRI East London dispatched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Lotto, accompanied by East London Fire and Rescue Services rescue divers and Eastern Cape Government Health EMS rescue paramedics.
An SA Air Force 15 Squadron Oryx helicopter, accompanied by navy divers, a Netcare 911 rescue paramedic and NSRI ASR (Air Sea Rescue) rescue swimmers has also been dispatched.
The Catamaran reportedly departed Durban on Friday bound for East London with 2 crew onboard.
MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) received an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) activation and ships in the area were diverted to the coordinates of the EPIRB to investigate, following an all ships alert by Telkom Maritime Radio Services broadcast on the VHF radio emergency frequency for any ships in the area to divert to investigate the EPIRB, while attempts were made to raise the sailing boat by VHF radio to try to determine the nature of the emergency if any.
The first ship to arrive at the location of the EPIRB found the upturned hull of a Catamaran adrift and a life-raft was also found adrift in the vicinity but no sign of crew was found.
Numerous ships that were in the area at the time have joined in the search.
During yesterday sea conditions in the vicinity were rough seas with gale force winds gusting up to 50 knots.
It remains unknown what caused the yacht to capsize and the fate of the two missing crew is unknown and a Search and Rescue operation is ongoing.
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