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Old 05-06-2010, 04:02   #1
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'Airwego' Lost on Reef in Samoa - Photo

We met Mike and Cindy on Airwego in Tonga when we were there in Spetember 2008. They are lovely cruising folks and we enjoyed their company imensly.

They headed down to NZ for the summer then back into the Islands.
I have just learned from their website that their boat was lost a few weeks ago on Asau Reef in samoa. (May 11th?)

They were uninjured.

Their website has no more details and I have only just emailed them.

There is no more sad photo than ones like these.

Has anyone more details?

Their website: http://www.airwego.com/

Lets hope they were insured and its paid out etc... or if not they have been able to get back home and can restart.
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Old 05-06-2010, 04:28   #2
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More news of the incident:

Quote:
"We were entering a narrow pass through the reef on Savai'i, when we hit bottom and were picked up by huge sea swells and driven farther onto the reef. Needless to say, our boat is a total loss."
http://www.bwsailing.com/BWS_newsandnotes_Airwego--Stray-Dog-Lost-Crews-Rescued.html
Includes details on another boat lost in the Pacific: Stray Dog
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Old 05-06-2010, 04:42   #3
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Alan and Kristen (“Charisma”) tell the story:

http://www.sailblogs.com/member/thed...xjMsgID=130027
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Old 05-06-2010, 05:37   #4
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2 Screen captuers below of the location I suppose Airwego hit the reef.

Note that the shipping channel is only 70 meters wide!!!!!!!!

But now look at the Mark I have put in on the chart. Now look at the Google Earth image and see the SAME L&L is 1,000 meters to sea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We found charts in the Pacific to be woefully out, but here seems to be a great example of a huge error!!

Can you check this location and also another scource/plotter and see what that Lat and Lon shows?

We tend to use Google Earth as we think its more accurate than charts


Mark
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Old 05-06-2010, 06:39   #5
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According to Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asau,_Samoa

“... . In the 1960s a new wharf was completed at Asau for the lumbering operations of an American company Potlatch Corporation. The mouth of Asau Harbour was blocked by a coral reef and both the Samoan government and consultants had difficulties in clearing away the coral. A government dredge sank while trying to remove the coral. Later, New Zealand bombs dropped on the reef did not solve the problem. Villagers claimed aitu* did not want the harbour cleared ...”

* gods, spirit beings, or ghosts
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Old 05-06-2010, 13:07   #6
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I'll put that one on my list of places to avoid!

Thanks Gord!
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Old 05-06-2010, 19:13   #7
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One never knows where the adventure ends for them, for the boat, or both. A shallow and poorly marked entrance with breaking swell is a nono place to be. Then again things can happen anywhere. Boats sink at the dock too.

Let's hope these guys will be back on stage again!

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Old 05-06-2010, 21:41   #8
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A shallow and poorly marked entrance with breaking swell is a nono place to be.
barnie
I can't get over the way the google earth photo shows the breaking waves over half the channel that appears to be straight on the chart. That leaves just 35 meters of channel without white water. Thats not much space!

The grounding came at 4pm too with sun off the starboard quarter so would have been difficult to see into the water.
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Old 05-06-2010, 21:56   #9
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I drew a line across the channel in google earth. Useable channel was more like 35 meters, maybe 40. Of course the channel splits so maybe that's where the 70 meters comes from. And yes the breaking waves intrude into the channel quite a bit, plus the channel runs at an angle. Not a fun place to be when the surf is up.

The entrance to San Pedro Belize is similar in width and angle. Luckily we went through that when the weather was settled but it was afternoon and not easy to read depths. A large yacht (2 ~40 ft. boats, 2 helicopters) went aground at the entrance when we were there but did manage to get off by dumping most of the anchor chain. They got clear minutes before a heavy squall came through. They did manage to attract the DEA though.
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Old 08-06-2010, 21:59   #10
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I've been trading emails with Mike and Cindy. Like us, they own(ed) a Macintosh / Mcintosh 47. Only 15 were built (16 numbered - 13 wasn't built). We've never met them, but "conversed" via a MC47 website.

They were following another boat thru the reef, in high seas, and just snagged the keel. Before they knew what happened, they ended up on the reef. The boat was holed, and the keel came off, while being pounded on the reef (after they got off the boat). They salvaged what they could (no insurance), and the boat was sunk by the government.

They are currently back in the US, mourning their loss, and looking for work.

These are great boats. With so few built, it hurts when one is lost.
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Old 08-06-2010, 22:08   #11
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Dang!...Pass on my condolences and best wishes for a speedy return to the sea if that's their desire.
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Old 08-06-2010, 22:11   #12
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BTW, to add insult to injury, the Samoans charged them $12,200 to hit that reef, and tow the hull into the pier to let it sink. Needless to say, it took them awhile (14 days) to get out of Samoa.

For those interested in the boats and some pics, here's the website: McIntosh 47 Yachts - Fast cruising yachts for discerning owners
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Old 08-06-2010, 22:18   #13
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My heart goes out to Mike and Cindy.

I spent the night aground inside the reef off the Mexican east coast. Not my boat, but sickening anyway. Luckily the tide came up just enough that we were able to get her off. The skipper had some problems with the Mexican establishment but I don't think it cost him to much.
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Old 08-06-2010, 22:26   #14
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Quote:
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BTW, to add insult to injury, the Samoans charged them $12,200 to hit that reef, and tow the hull into the pier to let it sink. Needless to say, it took them awhile (14 days) to get out of Samoa.

For those interested in the boats and some pics, here's the website: McIntosh 47 Yachts - Fast cruising yachts for discerning owners
The cruising equivalent to a death tax...that just doesn't sit right with me for some reason.
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Old 09-06-2010, 16:39   #15
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The cruising equivalent to a death tax...that just doesn't sit right with me for some reason.
FWIW,

If one is unfortunate unough to loose a boat in Fiji, they deem it to have been imported and charge you duty on its declared value.

I'm generally a law abiding chap, but this would lead me to attempting to disappear quietly into the sunset,

My sympathies to these folks... such a disaster could happen to any of us.

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Pt Stephens, NSW, Oz
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