Wreckage of what appears to be a South African-built catamaran has washed ashore on St Helena Island, prompting speculation that it may be the Tui Marine vessel lost in a storm in 2015.
Fishermen spotted the wreckage washed ashore at Turks Cap Bay on St Helena late last month but were unable to investigate due to large swells, the St Helena government said in a press release issued over the weekend. South African officials will now investigate the origin of the wreckage, the statement said.
“Unfortunately, due to large swells, the fisherman could not get close enough to identify the wreckage. It was later reported to the St Helena Sea Rescue Service,” the statement said. Sea Rescue officials used a drone to take aerial footage, which indicated the wreckage was part of an overturned hull. “Following the report from the Sea Rescue team, Emergency Planning Manager, Ian Johnson, and Emergency Planning Officer, Marco Yon, along with Sea Rescue Auxiliary, Paul Cherrett, hiked down to the beach to take a closer look and take further photos. The wreckage has now been identified as part of a catamaran, probably of South African origin,” the statement said. “Further investigation is being carried out by the South African Sea Rescue Service to see if the boat can be identified.”
A Tui Marine catamaran disappeared in stormy weather under delivery from Cape Town to its charter firm in Thailand with three South African crew. The last communication from the boat was 2190 nautical miles northwest of Perth. No survivors have been found although the hull was recovered briefly before being lost while under tow back to Cape Town.