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Tofo: high seas drama!

(above) George Venter throws his boat into a wild Tofo shorebreak…

Mid-afternoon Tofo market and word spreads fast. A hobie cat piloted by a few elderly gentlemen has capsized out front. A few hundred metres north of the point…and there it is…but we can make out one of the crew perched on an upside down hull, not looking too panicky.
But they are well and truly hitched up to the Tofo Express spring tide current going south…at about 3 or 4 knots. Very quickly they are gone around the corner…out of sight!

Alerting the usual crew…consensus pointed to Steve and Diversity Scuba…they are the closest and most geared up. But before any plans were hatched…the good ship Equinox came tearing along the sand…and the tractor driver ably assisted by his wife…threw the massive cat into the heady shorebreak. They had seen the incident from their house overlooking the bay.

Local volunteer rescuers tried in vane to turn the huge boat headlong to the shorey…for what felt like 10 whole minutes…as they were smashed sideways wave after wave. Eventually a break as huge wave pushed the cat right up the steepening bank…the current was dragging north as usual…when Lady Luck appeared…as the wave receeded it dragged the nose down and we headlong out to sea and gravity on our side. Afrente!

So thanks to all the helpers and volunteers, and especially George Venter who should be recommended for some kind of bravery prize. He brought home the unfortunate sailors…safely extracting them from an otherwise sea…but was unable to save their boat.

More to follow…

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