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Search for missing yacht on East Cape


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Nice posts Southernman, the friends and family of Paul Janse van Rensburg have only shown great care and dignity for their friend during a very sad and difficult time.

The issue here is not about the rights of a singlehander (or anyone else at sea) to expect rescue when things go very wrong, I am sure that Paul would have had no expectation of rescue whatever the circumstance of his problem and we all know if you go over the side anytime anywhere, expect to die. The issue is about how the RCC go about their business.

The frustration of Paul’s friends in their dealings with the RCC is very obvious despite their considerable restraint.

I have had considerable experience with the RCC and find them very difficult and intransient to deal with, they are very difficult to mobilise early when help and success are most closely aligned and conduct the process in a box ticking, pedantic manner, which doesn’t take account of the specific circumstance of an individual event,we saw this attitude on TV3 last night

It would be no surprise to most that a singlehanders yacht was found with sails bent on and auto pilot engaged and it seems that this was not a scenario that the RCC were including in their search options. Other than the vessel lost, this was a very likely (most) circumstance and if Paul had been on board he was clearly severely incapacitated and in need of urgent assistance,

If we are to have and fund a RCC then their primary task is SAR otherwise it should be closed, the cost is a red herring as most of the agencies carry out exercises and simply transfer the cost to SAR when they can. The cost of having these brilliant people in the air is there anyway and I am sure that it not coincidence that the airforce boys just happened to be on ’exercise’ 300nm east of NZ that located the Tafadzwa,

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The part that troubles me is that an 11m steel-hulled yacht, upright, with rig intact and sails up and a brightly-coloured kayak on deck, was not "find-able" until too late.

From an Air Search point of view, it is not easy to spot things from the air as one would think. In fact you have to be darn near on top of a boat to see the thing. Air to Ground Radar is the only way, but even then, ruff sea conditions can still make a target very difficult to "see", unless it is big. Even if you have a perfect clear blue sky day, Humidity from the water surface cuts down your horizon considerably. If you have cloud, then things are doubly difficult and lets face it, there is always cloud out there somewhere. Then if you have a good breeze creating a chop, the the entire issue is quadrupled. And that is searching for a Boat. Trying to see a person in the water form the air is just next to impossible, unless you are low down and know the ruff area to look. But when searching a large area, you are not low down. I know these RNZAF boys would have done their best and done it as good as anyone could. They don't this kind of thing lightly at all. Every single exercise is of utmost importance and they approach it as proffesionally as they possibly can.

Yes the RNZAF does have a budget. I don't know if SAR reimburses the RNZAF or not. Does anyone know how that works for sure?? Dawn said they have a very limited budget for normal operation and even exercises are often cancelled because they don't have the money. You guys would laugh if you knew how stupid it was worked. They even have to pay for peace keeping out of their budget and if they run out of funds, they simply cut exercises. There has even been some instances where the GVt has wanted the RNZAF to do some specific things and the RNZAF has said, sorry no money. Give us the money and we can no problem and the reply would be, sorry no money and the RNZAF says Sorry no can do then. Ever wonder why we don't see the RNZAF doing airshows and fly overs at special events etc etc, unless the show can pay, they RNZAF simply doesn't have the funds. It's utterly rediculous. But I can certainly imagine that if the RNZAF has to pay for SAR, then they would certainly be limited in search time.

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Reefing the main seems to have been it:


Friends know where yachtie disappeared, abandon search

By Isaac Davison with NZPA

UPDATED 12:15 PM Thursday Apr 1, 2010


Friends of missing yachtie Paul Janse van Rensburg say they now know where he was washed overboard from his yacht but accept he is dead and have called off the search.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/artic ... d=10635837

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