Saturday 1 October 2016

Irish woman who died in South African yachting tragedy is named

Published 02/02/2016 | 02:30

Wreckage of the yacht which ran aground on rocks off the coast of South Africa, claiming the life of a 49-year-old Irish woman. Photo: National Sea Rescue Institute
Wreckage of the yacht which ran aground on rocks off the coast of South Africa, claiming the life of a 49-year-old Irish woman. Photo: National Sea Rescue Institute
The yacht’s life raft. Photo: National Sea Rescue Institute

A 49-year-old Irish woman who died after the luxury boat she was sailing in was ripped apart by rocks off South Africa's Western Cape has been named as Rachel Daly.

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A Scottish man George Mills (61) was also killed, while it is understood Ms Daly's husband PJ Daly - also from Ireland - was injured when local yacht the 'Tara' ran aground.

They were the only three people on board the vessel at the time.

All three are said to be resident in the Western Cape area.

The incident occurred between Bokpunt and Gansekraal off the west coast during the early hours of yesterday.

Three rescue crews and police dive teams responded to the incident shortly after 4.30am local time.

Rescuers found the vessel in pieces among the jagged rocks close to the shoreline.

Mr Daly managed to get to shore and raise the alarm. He received minor injuries.

They were sailing from Langebaan to Cape Town when the accident occurred.

It is not yet known what caused the yacht to run aground; however, conditions were said to be rough at the time.

The National Sea Rescue Institute's spokesperson Craig Lambinon said the bodies of the man and woman were taken into the care of the forensic pathology services.

"The bodies of a 61-year-old male Scottish citizen and a 49-year-old female, an Irish citizen, both residents in the Western Cape, were located and recovered and paramedics then confirmed that they were both deceased," he said.

The spokesman added: "We don't know what caused the yacht to run aground and it could not be confirmed if the yacht had capsized before running aground."

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs said it was "aware of the death of an Irish citizen in the Western Cape and consular assistance is being provided".

The South African Maritime Safety Authority and police are investigating the incident.

Irish Independent

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