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#246152 - 21/04/2007 22:48 The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
Mick10 Offline
Weatherzone Moderator

Registered: 02/11/2001
Posts: 25465
Loc: Kirwan, Townsville - NQld.
some of you more experienced marine enthusiasts might be able to shed some light.
the story about the 3 sailers who vanished off their cat somewhere off the coast between Bowen and Townsville has got many people perplexed.
* all safety equip was still on board
* the lifeboat was still on board
* mobiles, wallets, computers still on board
* engine running when yacht was found, but in neutral
* sails were also still up but tattered
* dining table was set ready to eat
* beds had been recently slept in
* everything on board the yacht was in correct places and there wasnt a mess (meaning weather couldnt have been exceptionally rough)

seems they have been missing since about last sunday and monday and the yacht has been sailing on its own till thursday when it was towed to townsville port. still no sign of the 3 sailors on board. what could have happened to these guys?

this incident is gaining national, and now international intrest.
here is the local newspapers link to the story.
http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/article/2007/04/21/2061_hpnews.html
_________________________
Kirwan, Townsville Nth Qld -
June 2019 total - 27.8mm (21.2mm)
July 2019 total - 0.0mm (14.9mm)
2019 Yearly total to date - 2049.9mm (1129mm)

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#246153 - 22/04/2007 08:47 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
Tempest Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 17/11/2001
Posts: 3633
Further reports this morning suggests that they went into the water, either for a swim or to save one of the men that may have fallen overboard. With the motor still running and sails up you would only need a slight gust of wind to lose the vessel.

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#246154 - 22/04/2007 09:06 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
Yabbra Offline
Member

Registered: 30/03/2002
Posts: 3398
Loc: Wardell, Northern Rivers N.S....
One of the latest stories

It doesn't add up to me...both of these stories conflict each other...

Quote:
The only thing out of place was a badly torn sail. Rescuers remain baffled as to why the yacht's fenders, which are generally used when another vessel pulls alongside, were down.

Why were the fenders down unless another boat had actually pulled along side of them?

My husband thought about the theory of them going for a swim as he said that's usually what happened...but...

If the weather was rough this is something you wouldn't do...

Also if you look at the sails you will notice thet have been through a pretty rough time not just a bit of a swell.

Then you have the story about nothing being moved off the table...now if it was that rough for the sails to have been that tattered there would be nothing left on the table.

My husband ruled out pirates (yes there are still modern day pirates up there) as they would have taken alot of stuff.

Before looking at the first news story Mick put up he said it sounded like people that wanted to skip the country and make it look like a disappearance..but then after you look at the story and their ages etc...this doesn't hold water either...

None of it adds up.

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#246155 - 22/04/2007 09:26 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
Yabbra Offline
Member

Registered: 30/03/2002
Posts: 3398
Loc: Wardell, Northern Rivers N.S....
BOM says sea\'s weren\'t that rough during this period.

Quote:
To add to the mystery, seas were not rough at the time of the men's disappearance. Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Geoff Doueal told Mackay's Daily Mercury that said although there had been strong wind warnings between Airlie Beach and Townsville the previous week, seas had calmed to 20 knots by the time the crew set sail on Sunday and remained between 15 and 20 knots throughout the week.

Quote:
Skipper of Maxi Ragamuffin George Canfield, who has been sailing in the Whitsundays since 1988, said he would not rule out piracy.

'I've worked all around the world on boats and you never knock the theory out,' he said. 'I wouldn't be surprised. With the fenders, it's as if someone's come alongside. But you'd think they would have taken the GPS and computer unless they had a barrel-load of cash on board. Pirates will gut a boat.'

Ok...questions..
How did the fuel last for so long?
How did the laptop stay on for so long? Noticed solar panels.

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#246156 - 22/04/2007 13:16 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
Mick10 Offline
Weatherzone Moderator

Registered: 02/11/2001
Posts: 25465
Loc: Kirwan, Townsville - NQld.
Quote:
Originally posted by Yabbra:
How did the fuel last for so long?
How did the laptop stay on for so long? Noticed solar panels. [/QB]
the engine was neutral, so just iddling, is there enough fuel on board these yachts to keep the engine running 3-4days?
i was out taking shots of the yacht yesterday morning for ch7, clothes and undies/bathers were still hanging on a clothes line at the back of the yacht, it looked in ok order except for the sails and a small dinghy was still on the back aswell.
_________________________
Kirwan, Townsville Nth Qld -
June 2019 total - 27.8mm (21.2mm)
July 2019 total - 0.0mm (14.9mm)
2019 Yearly total to date - 2049.9mm (1129mm)

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#246157 - 22/04/2007 13:43 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
Yabbra Offline
Member

Registered: 30/03/2002
Posts: 3398
Loc: Wardell, Northern Rivers N.S....
Mick on the big yachts etc yes there should be but on one that small??
Still doesn't explain alot of other things either..
Say there was rough seas and there was trouble..

1) Why wasn't EPIRB set off?
2) Why was there anything left on the table, let alone undisturbed.
3) Why wasn't there some or any amount of water on board?
4) One report said the radio was not working yet another said it was...So say radio wasn't working, when hadn't been working from...Not when they had left. That is one thing that has to be working at all times, whether it's a couple of hour fishing trip or something like this.
5)..Rough seas and no life jackets put on?

Very strange isn't it Mick.

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#246158 - 22/04/2007 14:23 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
*Runoff* Offline
Member

Registered: 24/01/2005
Posts: 2209
Loc: Whitsundays
I believe they were abducted by aliens.
The tear in the sail is where the mechanical arm tore through to snatch them off the deck. Aliens have no use for laptops or clothing. The police need to put the yacht back where it was because the aliens will return them to where they collected the specimens. :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

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#246159 - 22/04/2007 14:38 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
Yabbra Offline
Member

Registered: 30/03/2002
Posts: 3398
Loc: Wardell, Northern Rivers N.S....
Maybe SMTG was out there again trying to stir up the ocean..

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#246160 - 22/04/2007 19:02 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
Mick10 Offline
Weatherzone Moderator

Registered: 02/11/2001
Posts: 25465
Loc: Kirwan, Townsville - NQld.
lol, feel for the families though, they are launching their own search tomorrow.
_________________________
Kirwan, Townsville Nth Qld -
June 2019 total - 27.8mm (21.2mm)
July 2019 total - 0.0mm (14.9mm)
2019 Yearly total to date - 2049.9mm (1129mm)

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#246161 - 24/04/2007 10:05 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
neptune1 Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 04/07/2002
Posts: 64
Loc: sunshine coast
The mystery continues! Here are my thoughts

Option 1

Staged event, this was staged thru careful planning to raise as much attention as possible so a level of mystery would surround the disappearance. After a short period of time the 3 men would be found and would sell the rights to a media group and make a large sum of money… THIS IS MOST UNLIKLEY when you look at the age of the men and the family circle they belong in, it does not make sense, So I vote no to this option.

Option 2

A boat approached, with the radio not working the two vessels came close and a discussion took place. The skipper of the kaz placed fenders on one side ready to secure the second vessel to the kaz. People board the kaz and a discussion takes place. The three men are placed on the second vessel and taken away or thrown overboard. The boarding party must have had a weapon of some kind as no scuffle took place. The above would explain the fenders being out, and while at sea why would you have them out to start with? The motor found running makes sense to support this theory, when you are positioning your vessel next to another you are selecting neutral and forward as you position your boat. The sail torn with no strong winds could be several warning shots fired to do what we tell you to do, the bullets traveled thru the sail starts a rip and with in a few days the rips become a major tear. The boat was found with no traces of a scuffle so the men left the boat with out a struggle, so this was done under duress or with there consent. Modern day pirates are very well organized, or perhaps drug Traffickers???

Option 3

One of the men went for a swim before lunch had a stroke and shouted for help, another jumps in to help while the third positions the boat to help the two in the water out.
Some thing happens and the third person jumps in. The wind is around 15knots so with out an anchor the boat will drift fast and trying to catch a boat moving while your helping your buddy is not going to happen. With all the splashing around sharks come into investigate and you know what happens next.

Option 4

Bermuda Triangle, Won’t go on to much about this one but off Florida numerous disappearances have taken place with boats found with no one in them…
Any way we need to have one out there theory!!!

So which theory suits the circumstances best? My bet Option 2.

What ever the events I hope they are found safe and well, for there Familys sake.

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#246162 - 24/04/2007 11:53 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
Yabbra Offline
Member

Registered: 30/03/2002
Posts: 3398
Loc: Wardell, Northern Rivers N.S....
Option 2 and 3 would be ruled out on the grounds of them being experienced.

Maritime rules alone say you must have working radio before crossing the bar as such...Experience says you wouldn't go out in the first place with radio not working...Experienced boaties wouldn't think about taking a trip that big without a back up radio.
People jumping in after one another??? Weren't their clothes in neat folded piles on deck?
But really people that knew the sea as they did wouldn't have taken the risk in the first place. Then you can say...why wasnt an alert made that they were in trouble?

The case was over an done with to quickly "publicly"...more than meets the eye here...very hush hush I'd say for a few different reasons.

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#246163 - 24/04/2007 12:25 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
cyclonecece Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 08/01/2007
Posts: 7823
Loc: Brandon.. QLD..EX Karratha
if its pirates,why didnt they take the wallets an computer on board,now they have found another boat out there,with keys still in it an plenty of fuel on board with all saftey gear..has been upturned an in the water for a couple of months.i really hope they do find them alive but i dont think they will

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#246164 - 24/04/2007 19:08 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
Mick10 Offline
Weatherzone Moderator

Registered: 02/11/2001
Posts: 25465
Loc: Kirwan, Townsville - NQld.
personally i have ruled out pirates aswell as mentioned they would have taken anything of value on the boat, modern day pirates may be well organised but whats would have been the point apart from ransom possibilites if they left money and computers on board.
the yachts radio was working the morning of their dissaperance.
yes there apparantly was folded clothing on the deck, but there was also a clothes line hanging from the back of boat which still had a towel and some clothes hanging from it. its possible they might have been folding clothes off the line when one went into the water, the driver at the time put the engine in neutral to assist?? then option 3 took place. but experienced sailors should have thrown one of those life rings into the water, no safety equip was missing.
my latest theory is one or two of the men killed off the other/s and then made away in another boat that pulled up, forgeting to put the fendors back up and leaving the boat in perfect order to remain a mystery? of course the ole life insurance scam comes into play (if they had it).
abit far fetched maybe!!
_________________________
Kirwan, Townsville Nth Qld -
June 2019 total - 27.8mm (21.2mm)
July 2019 total - 0.0mm (14.9mm)
2019 Yearly total to date - 2049.9mm (1129mm)

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#246165 - 24/04/2007 19:40 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
neptune1 Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 04/07/2002
Posts: 64
Loc: sunshine coast
I am starting to gel with your theory Mick 10.

But how do you explain the ripped sails and no water on board???

Part from that your theory sounds valid.
What about these men that killed off the sailors?
if not pirates who are they?

And finally this is the fourth incident that has taken place in these waters from November 06, all though not all are the same as this one.Wonder if they are linked????

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#246166 - 24/04/2007 19:46 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
Mick10 Offline
Weatherzone Moderator

Registered: 02/11/2001
Posts: 25465
Loc: Kirwan, Townsville - NQld.
it does make u wonder hey,
just been reading an article from the age website,
http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/k...7180635091.html
the boat that was also found this week was found well off shore from the sunshine coast, it was a two engined speed boat, covered from stern to bow in 5cm long barnacles, even inside and around the steering wheel and the like, paperwork still inside suggests the boat is from numea, maybe come loose in a storm or something and floated to australia semi submerged to become encrusted.
_________________________
Kirwan, Townsville Nth Qld -
June 2019 total - 27.8mm (21.2mm)
July 2019 total - 0.0mm (14.9mm)
2019 Yearly total to date - 2049.9mm (1129mm)

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#246167 - 24/04/2007 20:39 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
Yabbra Offline
Member

Registered: 30/03/2002
Posts: 3398
Loc: Wardell, Northern Rivers N.S....
Mick I agree with your theory, as do alot of others...not so far fetched in reality.
Kidnapped???? I don't know, unless of cause there was a reason for it..
I have heard lots of different stories about what goes on off the QLD coast but that usually involves fishing boats/trawlers.

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#246168 - 26/04/2007 16:17 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
eternal rain Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/2004
Posts: 5685
Loc: the great sydney desert
"Originally posted by neptune1: But how do you explain the ripped sails and no water on board???"

Maybe one of the guys who killed the other 2 (going by Mick10's theory) ripped the sails to make it look like an accident took place. One of my theories follows Mick10's theory and i dont think its farfetched!

Also, maybe the killer murdered the other 2 guys while they were still in bed (* beds had been recently slept in) and dragged them out and threw them into the water then replaced the covers on the bed (if there was any blood) but this doesnt bond well with dining tables set ready to eat so I might have to scrap part of this idea and replace it with the fact that maybe they were murdered WHILE they were waiting for dinner. Theres also the question of "How many beds were recently slept in?" because one mightve slept and the other might not have. Theres also the question of "How many of them were planning to eat?". too many questions to be raised me thinks.

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#246169 - 26/04/2007 16:41 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
Craig Arthur Offline
Wind hazard researcher

Registered: 08/05/2001
Posts: 3549
Loc: 149.152009°E 35.187056°...
Sails thrashing about for a few days explains the torn headsail. From what I saw of the footage, the sails didn't look that great, not that I'd expect a yacht like that to be carrying brand new cloth either. It takes very little effort (let alone thrashing in the wind) to tear old dacron cloth.

Option 3 is the most likely answer (the simplest explanation is most often the correct one). Simply because they were 'experienced' does not immediately mean they had common sense when an emergency situation came about - many people tend to lose their common sense in emergencies wink

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#246170 - 26/04/2007 19:59 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
Mick10 Offline
Weatherzone Moderator

Registered: 02/11/2001
Posts: 25465
Loc: Kirwan, Townsville - NQld.
according to the EMQ guy that was lowered onto the vessel last week, 3 beds had been slept in.
latest news is that the familes are still running their own search at a cost of about $5000 a day, they are searching some of the islands near the route of the yacht.
time is slipping though, been about 10days now.
_________________________
Kirwan, Townsville Nth Qld -
June 2019 total - 27.8mm (21.2mm)
July 2019 total - 0.0mm (14.9mm)
2019 Yearly total to date - 2049.9mm (1129mm)

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#246171 - 27/04/2007 12:30 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
Yabbra Offline
Member

Registered: 30/03/2002
Posts: 3398
Loc: Wardell, Northern Rivers N.S....

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#246172 - 27/04/2007 13:14 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
sugar mill tour guide Offline
Member

Registered: 09/07/2004
Posts: 1817
Loc: Proserpine North qld
well from what ive heard they have left Abel Point marina "Airlie Beach" and know basing themselves in Bowen and search from Bowen to BOwling Green Bay just south of Townsville. This is what i heard on the local news update Mackay and Whitsundays edition

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#246173 - 27/04/2007 19:47 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
Mick10 Offline
Weatherzone Moderator

Registered: 02/11/2001
Posts: 25465
Loc: Kirwan, Townsville - NQld.
no, they are now searching out of townsville, seven local news interview this evening from the strand.
_________________________
Kirwan, Townsville Nth Qld -
June 2019 total - 27.8mm (21.2mm)
July 2019 total - 0.0mm (14.9mm)
2019 Yearly total to date - 2049.9mm (1129mm)

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#246174 - 27/04/2007 23:48 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
Tan Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 15/09/2003
Posts: 2783
Loc: Barringha/Woodstock, Qld
I have to say that I agree with Craig on this - no matter the experience, some people tend to react spontaniously and without a great deal of common sense in an emergency - with a surge of adrenalin rational behaviour can go out the window and depending on tidal movements at the time and locality the yacht, the chances that the vessel had become unreachable for the crew very quickly is a great possiblility. Given the ages of the crew, despite their reported fitness, also narrows their chances of reaching a fast drifting yacht in my opinion. Unfortunately I don't think the missing men will be found which will be undoubtedly very difficult for the families involved and my heart goes out to them - their only comfort is in the knowing that the men they loved left this world with adventure in their hearts. All this said, wouldn't it be great if family members found them stranded on some island in the Witsundays!

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#246175 - 28/04/2007 15:47 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
sugar mill tour guide Offline
Member

Registered: 09/07/2004
Posts: 1817
Loc: Proserpine North qld
Quote:
Originally posted by Tan:
I have to say that I agree with Craig on this - no matter the experience, some people tend to react spontaniously and without a great deal of common sense in an emergency - with a surge of adrenalin rational behaviour can go out the window and depending on tidal movements at the time and locality the yacht, the chances that the vessel had become unreachable for the crew very quickly is a great possiblility. Given the ages of the crew, despite their reported fitness, also narrows their chances of reaching a fast drifting yacht in my opinion. Unfortunately I don't think the missing men will be found which will be undoubtedly very difficult for the families involved and my heart goes out to them - their only comfort is in the knowing that the men they loved left this world with adventure in their hearts. All this said, wouldn't it be great if family members found them stranded on some island in the Witsundays!
The tides here are very naturious and ur point is right tam. In the whitsundays we have tidal ranges from 6m in the south to about 4.5m in the north its quite possible for tide to be blamed. However my thoery was if they caught in a se airstream on a incoming tide condtions expecially in the passage becomes a giant washing mashine. Well it a mystery and probably remain that way for along time to come :p

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#246176 - 29/04/2007 20:48 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
comet Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 28/10/2003
Posts: 498
Loc: Blackmans Bay, Tasmania
The fendors down and the water all missing strongly suggests the men willingly or unwillingly boarded another boat and took their water with them.

Torn sail - and yet everything else in perfect place?? This bit just doesn't add up.

What would pirates want with 3 elderly men?? if they were kidnapped for ransom - why hasn't there been a demand for money?

I can't imagine 3 experienced sailors being washed overboard in rough weather. One maybe, but not three.

I can't imagine 2 jumping in to save one overboard unless they took precautions like lifejackets and life rings etc.

Guess the only thing left is to follow the money trail. Who would benefit from their real or staged deaths? However, they appear to be from a close knit family who are very worried and heartbroken so that kinda rules out the money trail thingo.

Zilch, zip, zero ??????????????????????????

Maybe the Bermuda triangle has moved south :-)

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#246177 - 29/04/2007 21:06 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
Mick10 Offline
Weatherzone Moderator

Registered: 02/11/2001
Posts: 25465
Loc: Kirwan, Townsville - NQld.
there are about 6people now missing from the area between townsville and the whitsundays in recent times, a worrying trend or alians taking our yachties?
i am sure the police would be following the money trail and looking into that area.
nothing else ads up at all. its all just very weird.
_________________________
Kirwan, Townsville Nth Qld -
June 2019 total - 27.8mm (21.2mm)
July 2019 total - 0.0mm (14.9mm)
2019 Yearly total to date - 2049.9mm (1129mm)

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#246178 - 30/04/2007 01:33 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
Tan Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 15/09/2003
Posts: 2783
Loc: Barringha/Woodstock, Qld
With the fendors down, this may also indicate a failed retrieval of a man over board - they may have been lowered as an aid to pick up person/s in the water whilst returning and cruising past in a neutral gear using tidal drift.

All the same - I have to admit all these missing sailors that are now popping up is a worry!! There used to be a guy that lived on a property down the road from me that swore that aliens had landed in his paddock.....*cue Twilight Zone theme* eek eek

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#246179 - 30/04/2007 09:20 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
Craig Arthur Offline
Wind hazard researcher

Registered: 08/05/2001
Posts: 3549
Loc: 149.152009°E 35.187056°...
What is it with conspiracy theories? Trying to come up with the best story for an 'X-Files' ep? Like I said initially, people do some really silly things in unusual situations. Example: a mate of mine (an excellent sailor, has won several national titles, would surely be classed as an 'experienced sailor', probably moreso than the fellows we're discussing here) was in a race, fairly blowy, and his rudders broke off. What did he do? He jumped off the back of his boat in Batemans Bay and swam after the rudders, leaving the boat to take off on it's own. He had to be picked up by a fellow competitor who was following. An example of an experienced yachtsman doing something stupid when thinking irrationally. It happens all the time. Problem is here, no one wants to admit that the blokes may have made an irrational decision when put in an emergency situation. One bloke in the water having cramps may have been all it needed to send the others into a mild panic.

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#246180 - 30/04/2007 10:47 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
Mick10 Offline
Weatherzone Moderator

Registered: 02/11/2001
Posts: 25465
Loc: Kirwan, Townsville - NQld.
conspiracy theories are always more exciting to think about than a boring ole fell off the side story i think.

one just struggles to think that 3people can think irrationally in an emergency and all end up overboard without one single lifejacket or emergency floation device being used.
1 or 2 overboard - yes, but 3?
_________________________
Kirwan, Townsville Nth Qld -
June 2019 total - 27.8mm (21.2mm)
July 2019 total - 0.0mm (14.9mm)
2019 Yearly total to date - 2049.9mm (1129mm)

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#246181 - 30/04/2007 11:28 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
Tempest Offline
Weatherzone Addict

Registered: 17/11/2001
Posts: 3633
Game of cards on another boat gone wrong.

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#246182 - 09/08/2007 13:50 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
seaeagle2323 Offline
Weather Freak

Registered: 13/11/2006
Posts: 461
Loc: Melbourne
so what has happened??? havent seen on the news or heard anything else!

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#246183 - 09/08/2007 14:03 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
cyclonecece Offline
Meteorological Motor Mouth

Registered: 08/01/2007
Posts: 7823
Loc: Brandon.. QLD..EX Karratha
One of the mens daughters lives here in karratha.she was in the local paper about two weeks ago saying her dad had been a volunteer for the local sea n rescue in perth.would be very hard not knowing what had happened .id rather find a body than nothing at all.least then you know

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#246184 - 01/03/2008 15:44 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
craig308 Offline
Cloud Gazer

Registered: 19/01/2007
Posts: 11
Loc: Echuca
there was a story about this on Chopper Rescue
last tuesday on the abc. they have a follow up report this tuesday the 4th of march at 8.00 pm
http://www.abc.net.au/tv/guide/netw/200803/programs/ZY8969A004D4032008T200000.htm
cheers craig
_________________________
cheers Craig

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#246185 - 23/04/2008 12:31 Re: The Mystery of the Missing Yachties
PeterR Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/05/2004
Posts: 11
Loc: Wollongong
I tend to think the probable cause is something more mundane than conspiracy and piracy.

I have always thought it likely that one or more of the men went topsides to relieve themselves. Picture one of the men toppling overboard off the stern, [ don't laugh it happens, especially if you've had a few ]. None of the men were in what you would call top physical shape.
One or both other men went over the side to grab their friend. In the scramble to get him back on board all lost touch with the yacht.
If anyone has had experience of 'man overboard drills' or has tried to rescue a fully clothed heavy man will know how difficult that can be.
Even in light airs a catamaran would quickly pull out of reach even if they tried to swim for it.
The truth is, no-one will ever know, except that it is usually the mundane that is closest to the event.

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