- Yacht had suffered technical problems and is now motoring slowly towards Pemba, Mozambique
- Search for the yacht was being aided by an EU anti-piracy plane scrambled from Djibouti
04:55 EST, 16 April 2012
06:30 EST, 16 April 2012
Safe: Jason Morenikeji, disappeared last week off the coast of Mozambique
A British man who was feared captured by pirates in the Indian Ocean, along with seven other people has been located this morning with all on board safe and well.
Jason Morenikeji, disappeared last week off the coast of Mozambique and maritime rescuers were dispatched to search for the vessel amid fears the group had been captured by pirates, which are known to target foreigners in the waters.
A spokesman for the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre on the island of Reunion said the yacht had suffered technical problems and was now motoring slowly towards Pemba.
He said: ‘The Dandelion was spotted this morning by an air force plane.
‘The pilots made contact with it and the captain informed them that all on board remained well.
‘It is now around 20 nautical miles from Pemba and is making its way slowly towards the port.’
Holiday island: A spokesman for the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre said the yacht had suffered technical problems and was now motoring slowly towards Pemba, pictured
Officials said it was believed the
catamaran had suffered a motor breakdown in the ocean and had been left
It was due to arrive in Pemba later today or tomorrow.
Mr Morenikeji’s brother told of his relief at the news.
Carl Morenikeji said his brother Jason, 42, had lived in Mozambique for five years and ran a wind turbine company.
He said: ‘We received a call on Sunday to say he was on the boat which had gone missing.
‘Obviously we were frantic with worry but have just been informed it has been located.
‘The details are sketchy at the moment but we have been told that he is safe.
‘We are delighted, it’s a massive relief.’
Mr Morenikeji is a father of one who moved to Mozambique from the UK in 2007.
His family is from Croydon in Surrey.
South Africa’s Times newspaper
reported that the search for the yacht was being aided by an EU
anti-piracy plane scrambled from Djibouti.
The newspaper claimed all ships in the vicinity of Mozambique had also been warned to be on the lookout for pirate activity.
The luxurious four bedroom Leopard 47 yacht is air conditioned, has a large outdoor area for al fresco dining and is equipped for water sports including Scuba diving and sea canoeing.
It set sail from Pemba before Easter, captained by experienced South African skipper John Sergel.
Mr Hartley, who lives in Johannesburg, said he last heard from the yacht on April 8 when Mr Sergal emailed from Mayotte to inform him the boat had suffered technical problems.
The Dandelion remained in port for two more days before setting sail on April 10.
Officials have warned in recent months about the increased threat posed by pirates in the Mozambican Channel.
In December 2010 Somali gunmen kidnapped a Mozambican fishing trawler as it sailed in the country’s northern waters.
A report on the Dandelion’s movements kept by officials at the Dzaoudzi Port in Mayotte confirmed it set sail at 3pm last Tuesday for the two day crossing to Pemba.
The yacht made a final radio call at 6pm local time to inform the port authority it had reached open waters.
Officials confirmed the boat was equipped with a distress beacon but was not carrying a satellite phone.