Australian yachties rescued off African coast

Australian yachties rescued off African coast

Australian yachties rescued off African coast

Updated 30 March 2012, 13:25 AEDT

A South African research ship is searching for an Australian sailor, John Blackman who was swept overboard from a yacht during a fierce storm off Cape Town on Monday night.

Earlier the research ship picked up two injured West Australians, Dale Peterson and Nicholas Laswon, and an uninjured South African woman who wasn't named.

Mr Blackman is still missing after a freak wave hit the yacht and swept him overboard about 1,000 kilometres south of Port Elizabeth, on Monday night.

Research ship captain Jonathan Wanliss remains hopeful that Mr Blackman may still be found.

"The gent who went over the side was in foul weather gear and he was wearing a life jacket at the time," he said.

"There was also a liferaft that went overboard and the water temperature is between 16 and 18 (degrees Celsius) so to all intents and purposes there is a good chance".