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Old 04-06-2012, 22:57   #1
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Yacht rescued off Norfolk Island Australia

18 lives saved. Thank goodness it was a good outcome and not a double tragedy. I wonder what sort of yacht it was...

Norfolk Island fishermen make 'miracle' rescue - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Norfolk Island fishermen make 'miracle' rescue

Two local fishermen saved 18 people on board a yacht caught in rough seas off Norfolk Island last night. The yacht, travelling from Auckland to Noumea, called for help just after 9:00pm (local time) after a crack appeared straight down the length of its hull.
Local fishermen Darren Bates and Dean Burrell set out in extreme conditions in a seven-metre fishing boat to rescue the yacht, which was 40 kilometres off the Norfolk Island coastline.

Norfolk Island administrator Neil Pope says it was a miracle everyone was rescued safely. "It was absolutely horrific conditions," he said. "It was blowing a gale here last night and the fact that they even went out, let alone found them, found the yacht, 40 kilometres out, was a miracle."

Mr Pope says the men are local heroes.
"It was actually amazing that they made it all the way back in, escorted all the way ... Darren Bates and Dean Burrell I'll be recommending for a bravery award," he said.
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Old 04-06-2012, 23:03   #2
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Re: Yacht rescued off Norfolk Island Australia

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Originally Posted by BlueSun View Post
I wonder what sort of yacht it was...
Answering my own question here - it was a 24 metre maxi competing in the Aukland to Noumea race.
Damaged yacht reaches Norfolk Island | Herald Sun

And here's a photo taken at the start of the race:
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Old 05-06-2012, 01:04   #3
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Re: Yacht rescued off Norfolk Island Australia

The yacht was anchored off Kingston this afternoon. There is no such thing as a harbour here - boats are lowered into the sea off a stone jetty by a crane. In bad weather it can be extremely hazardous.
It will be interesting to see what they do, as there is no way to get the yacht ashore.
Forecast for Wednesday
Cloudy. A few early showers, easing to the chance of a shower by evening. W/NW
winds 20/25 knots, reaching 25/30 knots at times and tending W/SW in the
evening. Moderate to rough seas on a low S/SE swell. Dangerous surf conditions
developing in the afternoon, hazardous for coastal activities such as swimming,
surfing and rock fishing.
Regards,
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Old 05-06-2012, 02:19   #4
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Re: Yacht rescued off Norfolk Island Australia

Just a couple of hours ago there was a radio call to Gavin Brady (local boy), skipper of "Beau Geste", en route to New Caledonia

A crewmember literally tripped over a crack in the night - across the side-deck, down the topsides, disappearing underwater towards the keel, and going clear through the core to the interior.

Gavin had to wrestle with the question of whether to abandon.

He put in a call to Bruce Farr. Given that there'd been a few structural problems in the boat's relatively brief history, Bruce was well acquainted with the scantlings and loads

His advice : "Get off the boat".

It was blowing, not a lot, but a fair bit (50 knots), (they'd prudently had the boat reefed down and detuned to maybe 70% of potential performance) and conditions were such that Gavin was not sure liferafts were a better option, although he couldn't be sure the hull would not break in two.

Despite Farr's recommendation, Gavin decided to try and nurse the boat to Norfolk Island.

A rescue boat went out 50 miles to meet them and escort them in, which would have been a major blessing (particularly given there's 18 crew to get off) , and a ship arrived on the scene a bit later to provide them with something of a lee slick, to reduce the wracking loads.



They duly arrived safely as described above.
Classy effort, but a tough call.

I'd guess they'd have to send a barge to put under her - can't see any prospect of making her safe to travel on her own bottom. Possibly they could drop the canting keel off (jettison) for later salvage, to make the lift safer.

Tricky, even so. Even getting the rig off safely would be challenging, given the lack of a sheltered harbour
- which presumably would be necessary if they have to do a lift, but perhaps not if the barge is submersible.
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Old 05-06-2012, 04:12   #5
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Re: Yacht rescued off Norfolk Island Australia

The shoreside guys are there, and crewman David Wood says the yacht could probably be fixed but it may not be worth it. Surveyor's looking it over now.

They still have to do something with it - I suppose if they decide it's not worth repairing they could salvage what they can then tow the hull offshore and scuttle it.
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Old 05-06-2012, 17:20   #6
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Re: Yacht rescued off Norfolk Island Australia

One option would be to ballast her with sand bags to allow some minimum stability, then drop the keel with a buoyed line.
This would allow her to be put against the pier ( depth of water less than six feet there)
and pull the mast out with the crane.
Maybe then she could be slinged and lifted onto the pier.
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Old 09-06-2012, 00:31   #7
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Re: Yacht rescued off Norfolk Island Australia

Just an update,
She is now anchored off Cacade and there is a working party on board who have been flown in. From the materials they took aboard it looks like they are trying to patch her up. At least it has been nice and calm today where they are.
Regards,
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