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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Another peril, another small fishing boat, in Foveaux Strait again.

This 38 feet fishing boat (Doug Field/Fairfax NZ), Easy Rider, is the latest victim of a freaque wave encounter that had just happened south of New Zealand in the Foveaux Strait as reported in The Press by Tim Donoghue, Keven Noprquay and Gwyneth Hyndman:
SEARCH UNDERWAY: The boat Easy Rider was heading north near Stewart Island when it capsized with nine people on board. 
A rogue wave caused a fishing boat to capsize in Foveaux Strait with nine people on board, the only known survivor of the tragedy has told police. 
Easy Rider, a 38-foot vessel, capsized off Saddle Point at the northern tip of Stewart Island, in 13degC waters well known for rips, about midnight Wednesday.
Here's some details:   

One person has survived 18 hours in the chill waters of Foveaux Strait, but hopes have faded for up to seven others - two young children among them - missing after a Southland fishing boat went down in treacherous waters.
One body, believed to be that of an eight-year-old boy, has been found.
The survivor was found at 6pm tonight, four hours after the alarm was raised, and 18 hours after the sinking.
Easy Rider was heading north near Stewart Island when it capsized around midnight, Inspector John Doherty said.
The alarm was raised 14 hours after the capsize, when Easy Rider failed to make a 2pm rendezvous at Stewart Island.
Police said the survivor was on the deck of the boat with two others when it was hit by a rogue wave, which caused the boat to capsize almost immediately.
The rest of the passengers were said to be in the wheel house of the boat.
The survivor was able to pull himself up onto the hull where he remained for approximately two hours before the boat sank.
There is no doubt about the case being a freaque wave encounter.  The boat capsized almost immediately  and it took 14 hours for the alarm to be raised.  

Foveaux Strait is undoubtedly a rather dangerous place, in May of 2006 a 50 feet Trawler, Kotuku, sunk here with 6 lives lost.  Sadly with repeated tragic happenings in less than 6 years, we are unlikely to learn much about freaque waves per se beyond the usual speculations.

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