That whole story is some really weird shit.Some detail not found in the NYT article:
"Friday 27/11/2020 Zulu Time arrived in Wallis and Futuna and used the GPS to send an email announcing their arrival. Officers Major Lionel Boulet and Jean-Michel Martin are informed of the Zulu Times arrival in front of Honikulu pass, south of Wallis. The two officers and customs officer Loicc Tuivai (brought in to translate) use a speedboat to meet with the Zulu Time. The officers noted the presence of three men. The fact that these men are officials provided us with enough evidence to know Isaac made it this far. It eliminated the possibility that the Cook Island plan was carried out.
The officers specified to the captain that they cannot disembark on the territory until after Covid tests are done. The officers showed them the route to enter the pass and asked them to follow. During this attempt the vessel had difficulty maneuvering across the pass and had to give up entering the lagoon. The officers told the captain they will contact a civilian who can tow them in.
Later on that day (4:10 PM) Lurent Mercier arrives and offers to tow them for about $260-$350 USD. Captain Mike declined this offer and decided to wait until the next day to try and return by his own means.
12:11 PM the sailboat Zulu Time signaled by email that they entered the lagoon by Honikullu fairway.
12:17 PM Captain Mike announced by email that his two passengers jumped overboard, after having cut the radios so that he could not alert authorities. He told them the reason for their escape was the refusal to take Covid tests.
2:00 PM searches begin.
A report from an off duty gendarme and a policeman state at 1:30 PM they received a call from the Commanding Officer of the gendarme of Wallis & Futuna that triggered a sea rescue operation in relation to the Zulu Time. They state that they sailed towards la Passe around 2:00 PM and at 2:30 PM were in the area and started to search around the islets of la Pasee and les Lepreux.
According to them, this time of day the tide is just starting to rise, the current is strong and the wind blows towards west/northwest.
The men boarded the ship and took pictures at 2:52 PM of the Garmin GPS screen, on which the coordinates of where the two people supposedly jumped are displayed. The GPS pinpoints the location 400 meters NE of the Ilot de la Passe and 400 meters south of the ilot des Lepreux.
Since the winds and current pushed east towards the Faioa islet, the entire reef between the fairway and FAIOA was searched, as well as the main channel. They landed on Ilot de la Passe where people from ADSUP confirmed having seen the sailboat passing by. Mr. Rover Frederic confirmed having seen two men on the sailboat as it passed. However, nobody saw anything in relation to two men jumping overboard. They did not see people reaching the Ilot de la Passe swimming either.
The search continued and at 5:00 PM they were ordered to escort the sailboat towards the anchoring point in Gahi bay. After the sailboat is towed, the wind is completely stopped.
Operations end at 11:00 PM.
At least 9 witnesses were interviewed. None of whom saw two men jump from the boat. The witnesses who approached Captain Mike all indicated that they were surprised by his relaxed demeanor and lack of panic.
One witness, Joubert Cynthia Moulini, contradicted the route Captain Mike described and stated that she saw the boat sailing towards the south. This means it was possible that Captain Mike dropped Isaac and Shukree on an uninhabited island where they could have been picked up.
Furthermore, Captain Mike’s lack of urgency and panic made his story even more questionable. If this really happened, why didn’t the captain try to save my son? Captain Mike had time to send an email and said he saw them swimming. What could possibly prevent someone from, at the very least, throwing them a life raft?
What about the witness who saw the boat sailing from north to south? Her statement seems confident and believable. Is it possible that Captain Mike had Isaac and Shukree picked up off the uninhabited island? The GPS route and texts during this time were deleted. What happened to them and what a HUGE coincidence.
The investigation also told us that Captain Mike disposed of Isaac and Shukree’s belongings right away…and finally Captain Mike reached out to me, offering information in exchange for the French investigation. His very own words on a text message stated “tell her I will reciprocate as soon as I can with the whole story to her. There is a lot more that is not in the file that happened she may or may not want to know”."
All the players in this story who contributed to Isaac’s disappearance have sordid pasts. You can read about the disturbing relationship between Mortekai and his mother in documents D115 a D124 from Captain Jeff’s testimony. In addition to this shocking information we also learned from the investigation that Mortekai’s financial means are not clear and it seems like there is something nefarious going on. In addition to this, he has a history with gun incidents. It appears that his mother Petra takes advantage of some welfare benefits and knows how to work the system. Jeff who has been the most helpful in this crazy mixed bag of nuts, is listed as a sexual predator."
Stories like this should be more widely known in order to dissuade young people from cruising IMO. People under 40 are just too lacking in common sense due to the influence of the internet to sail or cruise safely - exceptions prove the rule.
Of course "Captain Mike" has a YouTube channel. Shows him with the two victims on his Catalina 38 and a bunch of schizoid material.
We met some pretty marginal characters out cruising, but nothing like this. We also never let anyone on our boat that we did not know pretty well, for starters, aside from a few officials whose presence we could not control.
Maybe we were just naive, and they were all around us.
I did run across some real nutjobs on shore that one of my nephews got involved with. He was one of those unhappy "seekers", but what he found every time was just another set of controlling freaks with messianic pretensions. It ended up costing him his life, but it really sharpened my sense of what constitutes normal or even acceptable behavior.