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1 death reported in Cape 2 Rio race

The NSRI remains on high alert to assist yachts taking part in the historic race.

The NSRI remains on high alert to assist yachts taking part in the historic race. Picture: NSRI.

CAPE TOWN - The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) says it is on high alert to assist yachts taking part in the historic Cape 2 Rio race.

The race faced a rocky start after a sailor died on board the vessel Bille in rough seas and strong winds on Saturday.

Some yachts are now returning to the Cape and Saldanha Bay on the West Coast.

The NSRI's Craig Lambinon says in addition to the death of one crewman, several others were left injured after Bille de-mastered.

"One yacht has lost communication with land and various other yachts are limping back to either Saldanha Bay or Cape Town. One or two of them have reported minor injuries on board."

Rescue helicopters as well as the South African Navy and Air Force remain on standby to assist.

The Cape 2 Rio Yacht Race got underway on Saturday with a 35-strong fleet.