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Lionheart Lost Cape Brett NZ?

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One person has died and another is in a critical condition after a 47ft yacht sank in stormy conditions 20 nautical miles off Cape Brett on the east coast of Northland, New Zealand

The incident occurred around mid-day Monday, conditions at the time were recorded inside the Bay of Islands at 48kts gusting 60kts, blowing from the east, and would be expected to be stronger offshore.

Conditions have since moderated but sea heights averaging over 4 metres are predicted, with occasional swells 30% higher.

Cape Brett is at the entrance to the Bay of Islands and is the turning point for the Coastal Classic yacht race which will be run in 10 days time.

The weather conditions had been predicted yesterday and appropriate warnings issued.

The racing yacht Lionheart foundered in heavy easterly seas off the Northland coast, north of Cape Brett, in June 1983, in similar circumstances. Seven lives were lost.

statement issued by NZ Police reads:

Police and emergency services are responding to a water incident off the coast of Northland.

Emergency services were notified following reports a yacht sank about 37 kilometres off the coast of Cape Brett.

A mayday call was received about 12.30pm today after the 47 foot yacht got into trouble in the bad weather.

The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand have been co-ordinating a response.

Two rescue helicopters from Auckland, a Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion, a Coastguard vessel and a merchant vessel were sent to respond.

The P3 Orion dropped a life raft to the crew and then the four occupants of the boat were winched by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

Sadly, one person has subsequently died.

Police are in process of notifying their next of kin.

Another person is in a critical condition and is being transported to hospital by helicopter.

The remaining people who were on board are in moderate condition and are being treated by ambulance.

The situation is still ongoing, and it is too soon to speculate on what caused the boat to sink

Source:  Sail-World NZ

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This:

“The weather conditions had been predicted yesterday and appropriate warnings issued.

The racing yacht Lionheart foundered in heavy easterly seas off the Northland coast, north of Cape Brett, in June 1983, in similar circumstances. Seven lives were lost.”

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So why were they out there?

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Tauranga based boat on way home from the Islands.  There'll be herds of them coming in soon.  We'll see quite a few overseas boats in here at Whangarei.

Not sure why they decided to keep heading in when the forecast was so bad.  This system's been pretty well advertised for some time now

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My thoughts too wal . Maybe being only 100 odd miles out on Sunday with bluebird conditions was just too tempting and they decided to gap it 

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Just for clarity, UNAMED YACHT LOST CAPE BRET NZ in similiar circumstances to the loss of Lionheart in 1983

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It's nothing like Lionheart,  no connection at all. Not even similarity. Lionheart drove ashore in a gale at night due to navigational error and was wrecked  . This boat is at sea. Sail world need a kick up the arse for shit reporting. Wankers. 

They haven't named the yacht, they've been caught in a deep low that formed up of Queensland a few days ago and to my mind , tracked pretty rapidly across the Tasman to arrive here in the Bay of Islands yesterday morning. They were in trouble by midday, not far offshore.

We arrived in from Fiji on Thursday night ourselves. What were they doing out there?  FFS. They were sailing on the sea like thousands of others. Like we were a few days ago, like hundreds of people are about to do over the next month or so coming down from the pacific to NZ.

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Remember that you have to go to Whangarei to clear customs now. Thanks to bureaucracy / government you are forced to call there  regardless of where your destination is.

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No you don't.  You can go to Opua, Marsden cove or Auckland. And that's without considering all the other Ports further south.

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1 hour ago, JBE said:

 What were they doing out there?  FFS. They were sailing on the sea like thousands of others.

Like the thousands of others who ignore weather forecasts of soon to arrive dangerous conditions?

:rolleyes:

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Image from the rescue helo

two in the raft, two in the water,  one in the water died the other in the water critical they were Hubby and wife both very experienced sailors as we understand it.

He with a circumnavigation under his belt. SAD

Be interesting to find out what actually  happened here.

It was blowing dogs of chains in Auckland last night, certainly not a good time to go swimming or sailing either.

1571090053734.jpg

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It could have been way worse, the deceased could have died after months or years of agony in a hospital or similar or just wasted away. As it was he/she died being a bad ass blue water sailer, knowing the risks and doing it anyway. I'm sorry for the family's loss and I also hold a huge amount of respect. 

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1 hour ago, Alcatraz5768 said:

It could have been way worse, the deceased could have died after months or years of agony in a hospital or similar or just wasted away. As it was he/she died being a bad ass blue water sailer, knowing the risks and doing it anyway. I'm sorry for the family's loss and I also hold a huge amount of respect. 

you make a few very good points, thanks

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Tragic that there was a casualty, but well done by all the rescue services.

Thank you all !

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On 10/14/2019 at 4:15 PM, JBE said:

No you don't.  You can go to Opua, Marsden cove or Auckland. And that's without considering all the other Ports further south.

You can go to Opua and Whangerei, not Auckland as of the last time I cleared in (March 2019).  Fixed

Looks like they've changed it a again...when we came in last March Auckland was off the table.

There are six ports where recreational vessels (i.e. yachts) can enter New Zealand:

Four in the North Island:

Two in the South Island:

  • Lyttleton on the Banks Peninsula, the port for Christchurch
  • Picton in the Marlborough Sounds

The list is now quite short, e.g. you can't clear into Nelson, only Picton.

According to the guys that cleared me in, they have to have the ability to easily pick the boats out and clean the bottoms at a place that traps the runoff.

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I hate hearing these kinds of stories though, I feel for the families of the people that are lost.

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Another news report, worth a read, especially for all you who think an AIS is better than a PLB.

We are very lucky to have such a responsive and capable Rescue Service in New Zealand, a lot of the times its volunteers too. 

For those wondering what they were doing out there, I think it has been answered. The conditions were bad and forecast but how quick those systems develop and move is pretty hard to know in advance,  most models contradict each other until 3 or 4 days out around here.

Weather and seas like that are not particularly unusual here and especially on the trip they were making. If your used to staying home if the forecast says over 25, don't bother coming to NZ you will never leave your mooring.

They were probably only 1/2 day short on making it on a 7 - 10 day trip. I would suspect some sort of gear failure has contributed to the situation.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12276972

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"I would suspect some sort of gear failure has contributed to the situation. "

Seeing as the boat sank I suspect that's an understatement.......

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1 hour ago, BOI Guy said:

Another news report, worth a read, especially for all you who think an AIS is better than a PLB.

Stop coming to stupid conclusions that are not there. Thanks.

 

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"He put their survival down to lifejackets, decent clothing, but most of all - having a personal locator beacon." 

Without the beacon, he said it would have been like finding a "needle in a haystack" looking for the yachties in those conditions.

"Those three lives that were saved were saved by that action [of activating the beacon]. Otherwise, we would be dealing with four dead bodies."

 

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All those statements are probably mostly true, but still doesn't lead to inferring that one would be better than the other. 

Anyway, the question what lead to the situation is more important.

 

 

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46 minutes ago, BOI Guy said:

"He put their survival down to lifejackets, decent clothing, but most of all - having a personal locator beacon." 

Without the beacon, he said it would have been like finding a "needle in a haystack" looking for the yachties in those conditions.

"Those three lives that were saved were saved by that action [of activating the beacon]. Otherwise, we would be dealing with four dead bodies."

you miss the point, and please stop shouting.

 

In this situation, PLB's were the right piece of gear.  That does not make them the best item for every situation.

 

What if they'd lost a single crew overboard 4 days out from NZ?   PLB or personal AIS?

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Touchy subject?

1 hour ago, Fiji Bitter said:

Stop coming to stupid conclusions that are not there. Thanks.

 

Read my first post, I did not make a conclusion, I was drawing peoples attention to some evidence.

54 minutes ago, duncan (the other one) said:

you miss the point, and please stop shouting.

I am not shouting, that was a straight copy and paste from the News piece.

Stop jumping to conclusions, I might start making some about you.

 

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No need for that bloke.

Someone died here and it's got sod all to do with any of us or our opinions

 

cheers

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9 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

The list is now quite short, e.g. you can't clear into Nelson, only Picton.

Not *quite* true. You can clear into Nelson, you just need a good enough excuse. Friends of mine did it not so long ago. Another friend has permission to clear into Bluff if he wants.

FKT

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6 hours ago, Fah Kiew Tu said:
16 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

The list is now quite short, e.g. you can't clear into Nelson, only Picton.

Not *quite* true. You can clear into Nelson, you just need a good enough excuse. Friends of mine did it not so long ago. Another friend has permission to clear into Bluff if he wants.

FKT

Yeah, you have to make a special case for it and get it approved in advance.

It's not routine though, to be sure.

It's the same guys in Nelson that come to Picton for you. They said it was all about being able to clean your bottom at a place with a catchment. Apparently if you are TOO big to lift in a place like Picton (like a superyacht) a waiver is easier to get. It's mostly for us smaller boats.

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14 hours ago, wal' said:

"I would suspect some sort of gear failure has contributed to the situation. "

Seeing as the boat sank I suspect that's an understatement.......

Kind of my thought.

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12 hours ago, BOI Guy said:

"He put their survival down to lifejackets, decent clothing, but most of all - having a personal locator beacon." 

Without the beacon, he said it would have been like finding a "needle in a haystack" looking for the yachties in those conditions.

"Those three lives that were saved were saved by that action [of activating the beacon]. Otherwise, we would be dealing with four dead bodies."

 

 

A PLB in the liferaft? Or one personal PLB per crew?

It sounds like one crew had the PLB on his gear and they lost the raft, though the stories not all out yet.

We have AIS locators (individual) on our vests, a PLB for the ditch bag and we'd take the ship's EPIRB if we can get to it.

 

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6 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

Yeah, you have to make a special case for it and get it approved in advance.

It's not routine though, to be sure.

It's the same guys in Nelson that come to Picton for you. They said it was all about being able to clean your bottom at a place with a catchment. Apparently if you are TOO big to lift in a place like Picton (like a superyacht) a waiver is easier to get. It's mostly for us smaller boats.

That's the reasoning, yes. A number of port authorities decided it was too hard and said no to the Govt, hence no longer being ports of entry.

When you have a 60' 43 tonne boat that Picton can't haul anyway, you can get a waiver.

Also, if you're low on fuel after crossing from Hobart and ask to clear in at Nelson, they have been known to agree.

Used to be that if you got a certificate from Australia before departure saying you had a clean hull, you were OK. But somehow too many cruisers gamed the system and fucked it for everyone else.

FKT

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acquired form behind NZ Heralds stupid paywall....

We can all learn from this terrible accident... :(

Exhausted but overjoyed, Bruce Goodwin thought they had made it.

 It was Monday and there were grey skies. He went to take over watch from Pedersen above deck while Pedersen's wife, Pamela, and her brother-in-law Steve remained below.

 Sea conditions were reasonably calm. The wind was 20 knots. It was the sailing group's last day on board the 47-foot yacht travelling from Fiji to New Zealand. The four had a big breakfast planned before going through Customs.

 But as they crept closer to the Bay of Islands, the winds became stronger and the seas got "steeper and steeper". Soon, gusts grew to beyond 40 knots and massive waves had begun breaking on top.

 "It's a really hard thing to think of what size they were," Goodwin said. "The 6m thing was mentioned but it wasn't the size of the waves that was the problem. It was the size of the break.''

 At 1pm and about 30km from Cape Brett in Northland, a surge of water broke over the yacht. Goodwin, 66, and Pedersen were swept off their feet, and off the vessel.

 "I went under water. I'm sure Stu went under water as well. I was pulled along at a very painful rate. I was stuck in my harness for some time under water until I just felt Stu pulling me back on board," Goodwin said.

 "The deck was a mess at that stage but most things were still functioning. We checked down below to see how the other two were and saw they had their own dramas."

 Pamela and Steve were knee-deep in water. The yacht's windows had been sucked out from their frames, and water from the waves was repeatedly rushing in at a rate beyond what the vessel's pump system could handle.

 "That's when I said we need to put out a mayday," Goodwin said.

 Radio contact was made while Goodwin searched for the yacht's Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPRIB) and liferaft "but they must have gone out the windows, they were nowhere to be seen".

 Everyone went into survival mode, keeping cool heads the entire time. Goodwin who had his own personal locator beacon activated it.

 "We were encouraged. We were saying 'we can do this'," he said.

 The four gathered in the yacht's cockpit for about 20 minutes preparing to abandon ship. They collected a grab bag, life ring, Dan Buoy flotation device and had planned to click together their harness ropes once overboard to stay together.

 "It's just amazing how we all did bits and pieces when Pamela came on deck, she brought a big block of chocolate and a bottle of water. We knew we needed energy and we scoffed the chocolate as fast as we could."

 Goodwin said Pedersen and Steve, whose surname he did not know, took turns at manually pumping the bilge pump "to try to give us extra time". "But unfortunately it got so low in the water, the bow went under."

 With water rising around them, Goodwin was first to leave.

 He unclicked his harness from the yacht and dived through the water. He pulled Pamela along with him. The two other men followed moments behind and only just escaped.

 "The guys only just got clear ... When it [the yacht] went under. It went so, so quick."

 Alone, in the ocean, the four sailors clicked their harnesses together and waited.

And then the strangest thing happened. "An albatross came and sat beside us," Goodwin said. "I saw it as a sign from God. I do have trust in God and I have a personal relationship with God. [I thought] we can make it."

Goodwin did not see the seabird fly away. The sea conditions were still horrendous. "We struggled with waves coming at us. We took on water and spat it out. We tried to keep each other warm and encouraged." 

About 2.45pm, through the sea spray and waves, Goodwin spotted sight of the PC3 Orion above which dropped a liferaft. "Oh boy, when we first saw the Orion I thought 'you beauty!', 'We are going to do it guys, we are going to do it.'  "I saw this big, long, long rope with flags on it coming down. It landed quite a way from us, maybe 50m away. I swam for it as hard as I could."  Tears well as Goodwin recalled: "I really didn't think we were going to make it but the rope would get picked up and placed closer each time. Those guys in the [rescue] team knew just where to place it."

 Goodwin said their rescuers' skill at getting the raft closer to them when they did "absolutely" saved his life. With barely any strength left in his body, Goodwin eventually managed to pull himself on board. After another exhaustive effort, Steve was next. 

The two men pulled on their harness ropes to help get Pamela and Pedersen in but against the surging seas, high winds and a tangle of knots in the ropes, the mission became impossible. "There was nothing left in us to get them in."  Goodwin said he and Steve were reluctant to cut the ropes because of the risk of Pamela or Pedersen being swept away in the rough seas.

Instead, they each held them.  "I took Pamela and Steve held Stu along the liferaft. We had to wait for the helicopter to come and we knew it would come."  Goodwin doesn't know if it was seconds, minutes or hours later when he saw the rescue helicopter arrive. By this stage, all four were too exhausted to talk. But they were still conscious and alive. "I got a smile from Pam," Goodwin said.

A rescue helicopter swimmer came and took Pedersen and his wife away from the raft and got them winched up one by one. Steve was next up, then finally Goodwin. "It was just great to get up to that helicopter."  Wrapped in a thermal blanket and given some water, Goodwin reached out to his skipper.

 "I tried to get a smile from Stu." He didn't get one.

 Pedersen had died before making it onboard the helicopter.

 His wife was taken to hospital but has since been discharged. Steve was discharged with Goodwin this week.

 Back home in rural Waihī, Goodwin's voice cracks as he looks back on the fateful voyage.

 Both he and Pedersen shared a mutual love for sailing. As members of the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club, it's how they met about four years ago.

 "To do something like this, we do it for pleasure. And to have such an outcome, it's just devastating."

 But he remains incredibly grateful for the efforts of their rescuers.

 "To be living in a country that can throw so much resource without a moment's thought at four people who need them the most ... there must have been no hesitation when they got our mayday and they were so prompt.

 ''We feel so positive and honoured to live in such a country that cares for people.''

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I find this statement from one of the survivors really says it all for me.

 

 "To be living in a country that can throw so much resource without a moment's thought at four people who need them the most ... there must have been no hesitation when they got our mayday and they were so prompt.

 ''We feel so positive and honoured to live in such a country that cares for people.''

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4 hours ago, Ladyhawk said:

acquired form behind NZ Heralds stupid paywall....

We can all learn from this terrible accident... :(

Thanks for that Hawk, what a dramatic report that is! And how unfortunate that Pedersen didn't make it, or maybe rather how miraculous that three of them did make it. Very emotional really.

Some important questions remain, but for now my sincere sympathy for a brave Pamela and the other two crew.

And once again kudos for the quick and expertly rescue service, just amazing how the Orion dropped the liferaft so close by.

 

 

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