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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Peril of yachting in the Southern Ocean

Yacht has been in the news in recent days: there was search and rescue, there was tragic loss, and there was mystery, all were happenings around the Southern Ocean and all were blamed on likely freaque wave encounters.
  • As reported here (5/5/07), a 77 year old Japanese yachtsman who was attempting to become the oldest solo sailor to circumnavigate the world without stopping, unfortunately his yacht was disabled by a freak wave in the Southern Ocean about 100 kilometres (62 miles) southwest of Tasmania. He made a distress call via satellite phone to Japan in the early hours of Saturday morning after the wave damaged his 12 metre (43 foot) yacht ‘ Korasaa77.’ A police helicopter winched him to safety
  • Australian Broadcasting Corp. reports (5/3/07) "Australian yachties rescued off African coast." As Western Australian yacht Cowrie Dancer encountered freaque waves and overturned 750 nautical miles off south-east of South African coast. one crew member was swept overboard in mountaineous 12 m waves and never to be found again. Three other crews were eventually rescued, but two of them were injured with only one was unharmed as detailed in Couriermail (5/4/07).
  • Earlier this report (4/23/07) tells "Freak wave to blame for abandoned yacht." According to TimesOnline:

    "THREE men who disappeared from their yacht last week were most likely washed overboard in a violent squall or freak wave, according to police.

    "The “ghost yacht”, Kaz II, was found listing in Queensland waters with the table laid for dinner, the global positioning system and laptop humming, and the engine idling - yet with no crew." (One may be reminded the case of the Mary Celeste, which, like this case, was founded abandoned with food laid on the table in 1872.)"

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

GPS problems: user error.
Possible sandbar grounding with entire crew overboard and towels and clothing but not sunglasses or hats placed on fantail. Wave action freeing yacht and wind blowing it away seems unlikely but is "best scenario" so far.