THE upturned hull which was on its way to the Cape port yesterday (Wednesday, 17 January) appeared to have broken free from the tow line and is currently floating off the coast of Cape Town.
According to posts on the Searching for Anthony, Reg and Jaryd Facebook page, several maps showing different locations and irregular tracking patterns caused huge concern for families of the missing catamaran crew as well as friends following the Facebook page yesterday. People were confused as to why the Peridot of the salvage company Smith, was backtracking from its route and circling the area near Cape Point.
Captain Nigel Campbell, regional head of the South African Martime Safety Authoity (SAMSA), reported that while towing at low speed in the early hours of yesterday, sea conditions turned poor with a running swell, and the yacht appeared to have broken free from the tow line.
He said he didn’t think that the hull had sunk, but probably broke free and is now floating in the swell somewhere.
Peridot searched until last light yesterday and commenced its search again this morning as there is concern to find the hull before a small boat, such as a smaller fishing vessel, collides with it.
Storme Robertson wrote: “We, the families of our beloved three men, are completely shocked and traumatised to hear that the Peridot tug has possibly lost what we believe to be the Sunsail hull that could have held so many answers for us and been a significant step towards our desperately-needed closure. Please bear with us as we urgently try to find out the truth for ourselves as we have been completely distraught and panicked since seeing the unexpected, erratic track of the Peridot online and hearing this news.”