South Africa: Crew Rescued from Storm-Damaged Yacht on Passage to Madagascar – British Crew Member Drowns

A catamaran on passage from South Africa to Madagascar was damaged in a storm earlier this week and the crew had to be rescued by a bulk-carrier. Sadly one crew member, a British woman, drowned.

Published 5 years ago

Sara King – from

Sarah King, with her boyfriend James Ellsworth, friend Jason Baker and her dog, were on passage to Madagascar on their 48 ft catamaran as part of a research project for the University of Birmingham on sea-borne microplastics.

They left East London, SA last Friday 28 June.

On Tuesday 2nd July they encountered storm conditions 200NMm off the coast of South Africa, with challenging surfing conditions. During the heavy weather, one of the yacht’s hulls became damaged. The boat rapidly started taking on water.

MRCC requested a nearby bulk carrier to divert and attempt to assist the stricken vessel. The bulk carrier crew rescued all the crew members and tried to resuscitate female crew member, Sara King, who it is believed became trapped inside the yacht. Sadly their efforts failed.

Sara King, 34, from Devon, co-founded Evolve Abroad, a South African organization facilitating placements overseas. She had worked on marine conservation projects in Madagascar, Honduras, and Fiji and was based in Cape Town.

Further Reading:

Woman dies despite dramatic sea rescue off SA coastline –

British eco researcher drowns off coast of South Africa after yacht hit by storm –

Noonsite has not independently verified this information.

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