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yacht in big trouble off Whangarei


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Did anyone else notice that the Beneteau had a MSA number on the stern? It made me wonder if they had chartered the boat, and perhaps had some time pressures to return it to Auckland?

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What a shame they had a good headsail , main out of action , but could had powered into it slowly we in 83 , had a 70 plus knot cyclone on the way back from noumea ,we had been talking to Keri Keri radio being ask to keep a look out for another boat in our sector ,, Lionheart ,, we did see lights behind us hours before breeze built , the seas 6mtrs and breaking from behind. Crew wouldn’t come on deck so it was just the two of us ,lionheart hit rocks off Whangaroa , we were booked to do customs at tut but ended in whangarei Visibility was the problem We saw tuts entrance briefly but it was a no go I can understand Maby the age of these guys was against them but I think sticking with the boat could had been a good move If in doubt turn and run

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We talked it over about going out for better seastate but may have been beaten back the white water ontop of the swell was fast and deep So kept going edged towards whangarei and in we went , the further south heading to auckland would mean shallow water and steeper swell I n70 knots is a no no , we needed to dump crew who wanted to get off the boat We headed for home after a clean up a week later

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Similar to others posting I've done a lot of trips up and down this coast, I'd struggle to guess exactly but it would be 50+, in all sorts of conditions.  I agree with what the others have said about big easterlies demanding respect on this piece of coast. 

 

However in what looks to be a solid 40 footer, and from everything I can figure of the conditions over the time this unfolded, there were multiple valid options they could have taken which wouldn't have put them or various rescue crews into the serious danger that they did.

 

Reading this: 

 

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503450&objectid=12015924

 

Makes it sound like a pretty severe case of inexperience/ineptitude or worse.

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That is a very interesting story Razz88 posted the link to.

 

Police are basically openly critical, but haven't spoken to the couple yet.

The rescue chopper actually got a swimmer onboard the boat, but then left again without the crew ..............................................Sounds like the crew changed their minds

"Senior Sergeant Cliff Metcalfe, head of Northland police Search and Rescue squad, said the couple had declined to be lifted off the vessel."

 

According to the cop "They were advised repeatedly to stay where they were at a safe anchorage and to ride it out until the sea had eased"

 

One thing I don't follow, the name of the boat is given as Kirribilli, the Yachting NZ boat search has that as designed by a 'C Seeborn' and sail #1049. A sail number starting in 1 has to be an old boat verging on a classic, and I've never heard of that designer. The photos show a modern-ish fibreglass boat resembling your standard European production boats, bimini, radar, furling headsails etc. Wonder if the Herald has screwed up some details again? 

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One thing I don't follow, the name of the boat is given as Kirribilli, the Yachting NZ boat search has that as designed by a 'C Seeborn' and sail #1049. A sail number starting in 1 has to be an old boat verging on a classic, and I've never heard of that designer. The photos show a modern-ish fibreglass boat resembling your standard European production boats, bimini, radar, furling headsails etc. Wonder if the Herald has screwed up some details again? 

 

I'm pretty sure I remember seeing a blue Beneteau matching the description/photos with that name around somewhere. Possibly for sale on trademe?

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I know that boat , it's in charter. (Edit , seems like a yachtshare arrangement rather than full charter according to people below.) I just would see it with different people using it.

To be fair , poor knights is not exactly a safe anchorage in that sort of wind. I suppose it could be done...You might hook up ok under the cliffs by or north of riko riko, but it's pretty deep. I count it a fair weather anchorage.

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Charter or multi owner. Mate of mine has a boat in ownership. He’s quite experienced and uses it a lot. Many of the owners sound like this couple. Over summer one group takes the boat to the bay and several owners alternate useage/cars until it comes back. Usually one of the more adventurous owners take it up or bring it back. Most of the owners are very much fair weather Izzy bay types and would be totally out of place in conditions like this.

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Another issue with multiowners and I was told this by a Mate that was in a 3 way. Is that you tend to go out when the weather isn’t good because your time won’t come up for 3 (or in this case 8) weeks. There is also pressure to relocate because they don’t want to pay berthage in opua and Westhaven at the same time.

 

That’s the kind of get home itis that kills people in planes and boats. Fortunately not this time

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The emergency tiller in these Benetaus are not very useful. I understand they are just a T bar with short handles like you see here:

 

http://www.pbo.co.uk/seamanship/using-an-emergency-tiller-25196 

 

If these guys were having to use that arrangement, I can see how they got into trouble. Friends of ours on a Oceanis 50 managed to break both their Autopilot and steering cables mid ocean and had to use the emergency tiller for about 12 hours while they repaired the cables. The wife did most of the steering during that and her hands were numb for days afterwards.

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I have a funny feeling this incident will, at some point in the future, be used to justify compulsory licencing.

In fact, I'd bet a good bottle of whisky on it.

 

Currently I don't know all of the details (neither do the Police / Search controller), but based on the Police's open criticism of the skipper, the multiple rescue attempts with multiple rescue assets, including three helicopter rescues, the duration of the incident and the risk that both volunteer and professional rescuers were placed at, topped off by a paramedic swimmer actually getting onto the vessel, then leaving again without the crew, apparently as they had changed their mind about wanting to be rescued, I suspect the officials will be more than able to use this incident as justification. 

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