Cape Town — Questions abound over the disappearance of Cape Town yachtsman Nicolas Robinson, 47, following the discovery of his deserted yacht about 450 sea miles (833km) south of the island St Helena last Wednesday.
Otto Holicki, a Johannesburg friend of Robinson’s, said his disappearance came a few months after his partner, Wendy Meyer, 30, committed suicide on St Helena on January 2.
One possibility was that Robinson fell to his death on his yacht and that his body was washed overboard after a safety harness broke.
The yacht is being towed back, said John Martin, commodore of the Royal Cape Yacht Club.
“Nic left St Helena on April 2. I heard from him for the last time on April 12 via satellite phone.”
Robinson would have sailed to Walvis Bay, but three days after his planned arrival date, family members informed the Sea Rescue and Co-ordinating Centre (SRCC) that they were worried about him. The SRCC requested ships to be on the lookout for the yacht. Last Wednesday, the vessel Amalia found the deserted Sea Jade.
Holicki analysed photographs of the Sea Jade. “It looks like Nic’s safety harness could have broken while he was up on the mast to presumably carry out repairs.”
Holicki said his friend had formerly worked for the company Cape Diving in Cape Town, of which he was a founding member. Robinson and Meyer – who was apparently bipolar – had left for St Helena in March last year.
After Meyer’s suicide, Robinson had to stay some time on St Helena for the inquest to be held and for her body to be brought to Cape Town for cremation.
Holicki said Robinson wanted to sail to Wavis Bay and then fly to Cape Town.