How is it that we confuse speculation with reality, opinion with fact, bias for truth.
Basically there are currently very few pieces of genuine information.
So far there are two identifiable news articles (small local news outlets in Maroochydore and Gympie), but whether truth of otherwise, time will tell.
1. Location: Wide Bay Bar
2. 11:30 pm
3. 12m Cat
4. "Over turned"
5. All safe after VMR vessel rescue with helicopter oversight using night vision equipment
(night vision equipment
being the thrust of one of the news stories).
1. Although ex tropical cyclone Winston is approaching the SE Queensland
Coast, it's impact last night was minor in local terms, being related to the established swell from events
earlier in the week well off shore. Swell height last night at the Mooloolabah Wave rider Bouy was 2.5-3.0m. The pending Strong wind
warning takes effect tomorrow as it nears the coast although tonight conditions are now building with all coastal beaches closed.
2. I have crossed Wide Bay Bar 18 or more times. I have headed out in calm conditions at night, but to enter at night would be foolhardy in the extreme especially with a 3m swell running easterly.
3. Last night's high tide was 2.0m at 22:27, so at least the crossing was reasonably well timed for the tide, admittedly one hour into the ebb.
4. New and updated waypoints provided by VMR Tin Can Bay differ from the charts
(paper and electronic). At night it would be very easy to find oneself west of the correct path between WPT 1 and WPT 2 where it does get pretty shallow and surf frequently runs, especially with a 3m swell (plus, let's say a 0.5-1.0m sea). The wind
last night was 15+ kts SES, being with the swell but against a early ebbing tide of only 2.0m.
5. On the correct track, there would have been 5-6m depth
. Off track, west of the line as reflected in most charts
, it may have been only 2.5m or even less with surf.
6. "Over turning" a 12m cat in these conditions, still seems difficult to understand. I can only imagine they began surfing, and either broached or grounded in the swell. This is conjecture however.
7. Unfortunately, we may never know what happened, as the media are good at announcing events
, but are poor on the after-story unless there is a large readership. I suspect both the Maroochydore and Gympie local news outlets will not follow up on this event....
8 Very pleasing to hear all are well, but poor choices placed the VMR personnel in great danger
, and sent a chopper 50NM from base at great cost to those that pay tax.