20:00 Sunday 5th January 2013
Race HQ has issued the following statement:
BILLE reported earlier today mainsail problems and that they were proceeding back to Cape Town for repairs. At 15:00 a report was received that the boat was dismasted and there were a number of serious injuries on board. Sadly the yacht reported a fatality of one crew member. MRCC (Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre) have activated all their agencies and we are in constant communication with the vessel.
Race HQ sent the nearest vessel Genevieve Too to yacht Bille and they are currently standing close by to offer assistance.
It is believed that a crewman aboard Bille lost his life during the dismasting or shortly after that when he went overboard.
The Race Committee at this sad time offer our condolences to the family members of the deceased and the crew.
Ava reported in this morning saying that they were having battery power problems. At 16:18 an EPIRB was activated from Ava and we have received no communication from this vessel since then. MRCC have activated all agencies even though the yacht appears to on course from the XtraLink tracking system.
DoDo reported in at 19:30 this evening to say that they have lost steering and engine power but are hove to and will do repairs to resume racing.
The naval frigate, Islandwana, has been mustered with medical crew and will be departing this evening to attend to yacht BIlle and Ava.