Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 27-03-2008, 19:43   #1
Registered User
 
Connemara's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Toronto, Canada
Boat: Mirage 27 in Toronto; Wright 10 in Auckland
Posts: 671
Images: 2
Mutiny?

My stepson in Kiwiland sent me this piece from the New Zealand Herald.


On the face of it, it looks as if the crew panicked a bit, but the vessel wasn't as well-maintained as it might have been. Most revealing comment may the chopper pilot who thought that with good seamanship all would have been well.



Thoughts?

What about our Kiwis? What were the conditions like? Was the crew justified?











(from the NZ Herald)



A maritime rescue involving two helicopters at a cost of more than $20,000 was caused because three crew members "mutinied" against their more experienced skipper.
Crew on Auckland's Westpac rescue helicopter were endangered during the callout because the yacht was further away than an emergency locator beacon initially showed.
The Northland Electricity rescue helicopter had to be called in to winch the group to safety from about 120km off the Kaipara coast because the Westpac machine had reached its fuel limitations and had to return to Auckland.
Questions have been raised over the necessity of the rescue, which has most likely ended a long friendship.
Nelson man Carl Horn told the Herald he was helping his friend Bill Heritage take his 7.9m sloop, Air Apparent, from Auckland to Nelson, going around Cape Reinga.
He was assisted by his friends John Lammin and Sharan Foga, who met Mr Heritage shortly before the trip.
Mr Horn, an organiser for the National Distribution Union and a friend of Mr Heritage for 26 years, said the group, all from Nelson, had been enjoying smooth sailing until the weather began closing in on Monday about midday.


The Coastguard reported 3m swells and 20-knot winds. By Tuesday afternoon, conditions had deteriorated and seas were rough.
Fatigued, seasick and becoming worried for their safety, the group began discussing their options.
"Bill was of the opinion that we weren't in serious enough trouble to warrant a beacon [but] ... I have great doubts we would have survived Tuesday night," Mr Horn said.
The trio went against the skipper's wishes and set off the emergency locator beacon at 3.22pm."We mutinied, as he put it," said Mr Horn.
"Things got out of hand as the storm got worse. The seas were rising. The motor didn't work. We couldn't get the motor started - the battery had died and when we tried the crank that didn't work.
"All the instrumentation had died before we got picked up. The radio wasn't working, we couldn't reach land, we couldn't communicate with anybody, we were on our own.
"And when we were at the point we had to put out the sea anchor to protect ourselves, it was incomplete."
Mr Heritage, an accountant, was last night reluctant to say much about his ordeal but said his boat had been valued at $24,000 two years ago and he was looking into options for finding it at sea and retrieving it.
"I feel that their actions caused the loss of the boat," he said.
The cost of the callout exceeded $20,000 and Northland Electricity helicopter chief pilot Pete Turnbull said he believed it could have been avoided.
"From my position it didn't appear entirely necessary to evacuate the yacht. It would appear that with good seamanship, the yacht could have easily ridden out the conditions."
Westpac's chief pilot, Dave Walley, said the group was using an outdated emergency locator beacon, which was not as accurate as newer models.
Asked if the helicopter crew were angry about the callout, Mr Walley said: "If we get a call for help, we're going to answer that call - that's our first obligation. It's not our job to pass judgment."
Mr Horn said he, Mr Lammin and Ms Foga all had some sailing experience, but were relying on Mr Heritage, who had owned the boat for 15 years.
The group were "extremely distressed and sorry" that Mr Heritage had to abandon his boat because it would not have been safe for him to remain on it alone.
"I would not be surprised if he never speaks to me again," Mr Horn said. "He was extremely upset, shocked, shattered."
Mr Horn said he was "extremely grateful" to Westpac.
"My adrenaline has not yet gone down to level. The room that I am sitting in is still rolling slightly. I'm pretty well together, but I think it's fair to say that I'm pretty shaken up by the whole experience.
"I'm still shivering when I think about it."
Maritime New Zealand is issuing navigational warnings on maritime radio to warn other vessels about the abandoned yacht, telling them to watch out for it.
It says any salvage or recovery is the responsibility of Mr Heritage.
__________________

__________________
Connemara is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-03-2008, 20:19   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pblais's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hayes, VA
Boat: Gozzard 36
Posts: 8,700
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Pblais
Quote:
Most revealing comment may the chopper pilot who thought that with good seamanship all would have been well.
To read the quote seems as if the writer was looking for a story that didn't happen. To portray the story as mutiny seems a bit far fetched. Mutiny is a military term for military captains and courts of inquiry in times of war. Lets all conduct a courts marshall and decide the guilty with no evidence of our own save the story as written.

Hang the crew or condem the captain? Internet specualtion at it's highest!
__________________

__________________
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
Pblais is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-03-2008, 21:09   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
Alan Wheeler's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Marlborough Sounds. New Zealand
Boat: Hartley Tahitian 45ft. Leisure Lady
Posts: 8,038
Images: 102
There is a great deal of important information missing, so trying to pass judgement is not fair. What exactly were the weather and sea conditions? What was the forcast? Where exactly were they when they set of the EPIRB?
The Coastline of NZ is trecherous. Once you start a voyage, you are often commited to it as there are few places to run and hide. The West Coast of NZ would be the worst. In the wrong conditions it can be miserable and trecherouse. There is nowhere to run to and the sea's can be extremely ruff and uncomfortable. To travel from Cape Reinga to Nelson, you progressively get further and further from land. You are ruffly 100Nm at one point. A 26ft boat would feel mighty small out there. However, if it was a well found boat, it should certainly be possible.
My view is that I suspect that the crew was not up to the task and the Skipper was. Having said that, no one should tackle these sorts of legs without having thoroughly checked all safety equipment and fitted what is required. Which makes me wonder then if the Skipper was indeed capable.
However, not having a compleate sea anchor is not the end of the world. There are many other things that can be thrown over and dragged to make a drogue. But once seasickness and fear set in, you just simply want off at any cost.
Hence one of the reasons we have to have Cat1 requirments. If Cat2 was required as law, this boat would have had all the equipment required for such a leg. I am glad it is not required by law, but I would not attempt that leg without my boat being upto a Cat2 requirment.

Hey Seafox and Marauder are about to do a yacht delivery taking this route. They are going the other direction which may make it a little easier and the time of the year should help with better weather options.
__________________
Wheels

For God so loved the world..........He didn't send a committee.
Alan Wheeler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2008, 00:10   #4
Marine Service Provider
 
GMac's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: North of the Bridge, thankfully
Boat: R930
Posts: 1,659
Been looking at that story a bit today and it's just a shambles really. It wasn't that windy only 25ish. The skipper didn't seem massively experienced but did know something. The crew knew next to nothing and started to panic a bit by the looks. The Skipper got off as well saying it was too dangerous to stay by himself and is now sueing the crew. All a bit of a mickey mouse affair really.

Just a simple case of no-one being well prepared, inexperienced crew feeling crook and not realising it wasn't 'bad' weather.

It's not a registered ship and being NZers inside NZ territorial waters it can't be a mutiny, technically. Just a bog standard cock-up all around that should never have happened if someone thought things through a bit better.
__________________
GMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2008, 01:27   #5
Registered User
 
maxlev's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: sea level NZ
Boat: Lidgard 38 "now sold"
Posts: 22
The skipper was interviewed on the box this evening and said the conditions were ideal sailing conditions, but a bit lumpy in the 3 metre swell with 25 knots from an ideal direction.
Having owned the yacht for 15yrs he would have had enough experience I would have thought. But seems his crew expected it would be smooth sailing all the way.
It's too easy to give up and get off these days, and to find retrieve the yacht is not economic for the skipper.
I would have told the crew to get on the chopper and sod off, batten down the hatches and ride it out.
What a bunch of pussys.
__________________
maxlev is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2008, 01:45   #6
Marine Service Provider
 
GMac's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: North of the Bridge, thankfully
Boat: R930
Posts: 1,659
Hey, Maxlev you the new owner or do you need to change the boats details on your profile?. Do I hear a "Who the and how the hell....?" off your boat about now

We are everywhere and watching......... even you

And you absolutely right with your above post. Especially the last 3 lines.
__________________
GMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2008, 03:14   #7
Registered User
 
maxlev's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: sea level NZ
Boat: Lidgard 38 "now sold"
Posts: 22
Yes, I am the current owner of this very well travelled kauri log.
Goes like the clappers too for a 38yr old log.
Prised it from Grahame & Lynnes hands 3 months ago.
Loitering around the coast on a long lazy holiday.
The Monitor won't hit the panic button so no need for crew.
http://www.hunterproductions.co.nz/images/news4_lg.jpg

Another yacht was abandoned off the Kaipara Harbour coast a couple of yrs ago.
Hit a sleeping whale, knee deep water in the hull.
But it was one of them unsinkable Newick tri's.
Some fishermen towed it to Raglan for the insurers to deal with.
Don't know if it was repaired to sail again, but like I said, it's too easy these days to hit the panic button and get off.

Grin and bear it or sell it.
__________________
maxlev is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2008, 03:22   #8
Registered User
 
seafox's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: new zealand
Boat: Lotus 10.6
Posts: 1,270
Images: 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxlev View Post
The skipper was interviewed on the box this evening and said the conditions were ideal sailing conditions, but a bit lumpy in the 3 metre swell with 25 knots from an ideal direction.
Having owned the yacht for 15yrs he would have had enough experience I would have thought. But seems his crew expected it would be smooth sailing all the way.
It's too easy to give up and get off these days, and to find retrieve the yacht is not economic for the skipper.
I would have told the crew to get on the chopper and sod off, batten down the hatches and ride it out.
What a bunch of pussys.
Yep, I agree
__________________
"Very well, you hand it over and we'll put your town to our rudder and ne'er return" Captain Barbossa, Black Pearl, Pirates of the Caribbean.
seafox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2008, 04:20   #9
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,583
Images: 240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pblais View Post
To read the quote seems as if the writer was looking for a story that didn't happen. To portray the story as mutiny seems a bit far fetched. Mutiny is a military term for military captains and courts of inquiry in times of war. Lets all conduct a courts marshall and decide the guilty with no evidence of our own save the story as written.
Hang the crew or condemn the captain? Internet speculation at it's highest!

It doesn’t appear, to me, that the journalist “was looking for a story that didn't happen”; although he took full advantage of a melodramatic quote.

"Bill [owner captain] was of the opinion that we weren't in serious enough trouble to warrant a beacon [but] ... I have great doubts we would have survived Tuesday night," Mr Horn said.
The trio [mutinous crew] went against the skipper's wishes and set off the emergency locator beacon at 3.22pm."We mutinied, as he put it," said Mr Horn.

Speculation? Of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxlev View Post
... I would have told the crew to get on the chopper and sod off, batten down the hatches and ride it out.
What a bunch of pussys.
Most rescue organizations won’t remove “part” of a crew; under the principle that he vessel (and conditions) is either safe or unsafe for all aboard.
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2008, 05:01   #10
Long Range Cruiser
 
MarkJ's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Australian living on "Sea Life" currently in England.
Boat: Beneteau 393 "Sea Life"
Posts: 12,828
Images: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxlev View Post
batten down the hatches and ride it out.
What a bunch of pussys.
Torkin about pussys, why are'nt you kiwi mob out there on a bit of a salvage hunt. Value of boat 2 years ago $24,000 New Zealand Paesos = US$19,300. Less a bit of damage of $300 = $19,000 x Salvage ownership 90% = $17,100. Less $100 for beer... Total finders fee US$17,000
Not bad for a few days autumn sailing in NZ.

__________________
Notes on a Circumnavigation.
OurLifeAtSea.com

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
MarkJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2008, 07:11   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Galveston bay
Boat: S2 11.0A
Posts: 87
We always have freinds volunteer to go along when my wife and I do long offshore pasages and we always turn them down for just this reason. If someone panics and wants off the boat while you're "out there" the captain's decision must be the law, and the captain must accept the consequnces if he makes the wrong decision.
__________________
Panama Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2008, 07:34   #12
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,594
Quote:
Originally Posted by Connemara View Post
The radio wasn't working, we couldn't reach land, we couldn't communicate with anybody, we were on our own.
No wonder they jump ship! Imagine sailing offshore and BEING ON YOUR OWN.

How scary...

This story is exactly why I tell new sailors to be sure to get out in a good blow BEFORE they sell the house to sail around the world. Some folks just don't have a clue what the ocean can dish up.
__________________
Randy

Cape Dory 25D Seraph
rtbates is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2008, 09:39   #13
Registered User
 
theonecalledtom's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Socal
Boat: Beneteau 36.7
Posts: 386
Images: 1
Having a crew decide they want to get off the boat 100nm out sounds far scarier than 3m seas and 30kt winds but surely a good captain preps his crew to realise that the electrics might go down and the boat keeps sailing? The captain may have had enough experience to sail the course but he made the mistakes in selecting, preparing and coaching his crew which is part of his job. Therefore he has no right to sue.
__________________
theonecalledtom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2008, 13:48   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
Alan Wheeler's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Marlborough Sounds. New Zealand
Boat: Hartley Tahitian 45ft. Leisure Lady
Posts: 8,038
Images: 102
Very good comments Tom. I agree with all your points.

Quote:
why are'nt you kiwi mob out there on a bit of a salvage hunt.
Because that area is so remote, by the time anyone gets out there, the boat will be in the Pacific Islands.
I haven't been to the "Far North" (what the top of the North Island is called) so someone correct me if I am wrong, but the Cape must be a good 200miles or more North of Auckland???(Hence the very long Chopper ride.) And there is very little up the top. A few very small communities. It's the poorest area of NZ. Very much a life style up there.
Kaipra Harbour would have given them some shelter, but it is next to impossible to get into the Harbour unless you have some very sound local knowledge. It's considered the most difficult bar to navigate.
Quote:
Having a crew decide they want to get off the boat 100nm out sounds far scarier
Tom that is such a good comment. I just have to say something about it. I read this all the time about crews abandoning ship. It astonishes me that crew so easily jump ship or get into a liferaft while there own boat is still quite seaworthy. They just don't seem to get it, that it is so dangerous making that transistion from boat to "safety". And if the deemed "safety" is a life raft. it is a far worse feeling floating in one of those corks than in the boat. Thankfully I have never had to do that in reality. So my above comments are without experiance, but I still stick by them.
__________________
Wheels

For God so loved the world..........He didn't send a committee.
Alan Wheeler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2008, 13:50   #15
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Out there doin' it
Boat: 47' Olympic Adventure
Posts: 2,635
So what if the motor didn't work - it was a sailboat, right?!?! Not like they didn't have enough wind. Agree with Maxlev et al.
__________________

__________________
Lodesman is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cat mutiny. Alan Wheeler Families, Kids and Pets Afloat 9 23-01-2006 14:46



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:43.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.