The story of how Katharine became part of Knysna’s sea-rescue fleet

DURING December 2019, the superyacht Katharine visited Knysna for a 10-day stopover. On arrival outside The Heads, the yacht was welcomed by NSRI Knysna crewmembers aboard rescue crafts R12 Eileen Medway, R12A Jaytee IV, and R12B Jolen.
Explained NSRI Knysna station commander Jerome Simonis in a Facebook post earlier this month: “We were requested to assist with escorting Katharine through The Heads. Our coxswains boarded Katharine to offer pilot advice and local knowledge to the yacht’s captain Mike ‘O Neil.”
Upon their entry into Knysna, the superyacht’s owners Lee and Penny Anderson also welcomed Jerome aboard their vessel. After successfully navigating The Heads and the channel up to Thesen’s Jetty, the Andersons were so impressed by the professionalism and dedication of the NSRI volunteers that they requested to see their rescue base and so get a better understanding of the organisation and its history in Knysna.
“After their visit to our rescue base, which provided insight with regard to what happens at NSRI Knysna, the Andersons made a very generous donation to Station 12, ultimately helping to fund a new 4.5m JetRib rescue craft, which we aptly named Katharine,” said Jerome.
The all-new Yamaha VX1050 JetRib is powered by an environmentally friendly four-stroke engine and is operated by a helmsman and two crew. It is without doubt one of the safest and most responsive rescue craft to be used in the Knysna Heads and will improve capabilities in the surf as well as on open water.
The Andersons have a long affiliation with Knysna, even though this was their first visit to the town. During the past 20 years of craft ownership, their yachts have been crewed by multiple members originating from the town, many of which have also served as crewmembers of NSRI Knysna over the years.
“So, when the opportunity came to visit South Africa with their yacht, Knysna was first on the itinerary,” he added.
“The hospitality they enjoyed while visiting Knysna with Katharine will leave a lasting impression on the Andersons and their crew - the massive turnout by residents to wave them goodbye when they eventually departed was truly heart-warming.”
By making this valuable contribution to Sea Rescue, they wished to thank the whole town for opening their doors to them, and particularly NSRI for everything they do for the community with their mission of Saving Lives, Changing Lives and Creating Futures.
Visit the Knysna NSRI Facebook page for more images.