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  1. #1
    Hawk1's Avatar
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    Pirates or the boogeyman?

    Taken from yesterdays newspaper. Gettin quite a bit of coverage here at the minute..its very weird.


    MYSTERY still surrounds the fate of the crew of a ghost yacht found off the north Queensland coast, while conspiracy theories abound.

    Were they victims of piracy, separated from their vessel while swimming or lost in a bungled rescue?
    The disappearance of skipper Derek Batten, 56, Peter Tunstead, 69, and his brother, James Tunstead, 63 -- all from Western Australia -- has baffled emergency services and the boating community.

    Their stricken 9.8m catamaran KAZ II was found adrift on Wednesday, about 160km off Townsville.

    Two helicopters and two boats joined a search for the trio yesterday along the coastline between Airlie Beach and north of Bowen.

    Hopes of finding the trio alive were fading late yesterday.

    "There is very little hope that they would have survived at this stage if they were still in the water, so we're concentrating on the coastline just in case they made it to shore," Chief Supt Roy Wall said.

    Data collected from GPS systems on board the vessel indicate the yacht was on course last Sunday morning after leaving Shute Harbour at Airlie Beach, but had struck trouble that afternoon.

    When it was discovered, the catamaran's engine was running, a laptop computer was switched on inside, navigational equipment and plotting gear were laid out and all safety gear was on board.

    Police denied previous reports that food was on a table.

    Chief Supt Wall said the men could have been swept overboard in rough conditions.

    "We really don't know for sure and it's probably dangerous to speculate, but obviously they've become separated from their vessel. It's as simple as that," he said.

    Emergency Management Queensland helicopter rescue crewman Phil Livingstone told the Sunday Herald Sun clothes had been found neatly placed on the rear deck, suggesting the men may have gone for a swim.

    "There were neatly placed shorts, sunglasses and cap sitting on the back deck," he said.

    The only thing out of place on the deck of KAZ II was a badly ripped sail.

    "What is bizarre about this is it looks as if the boat has been though a sea state -- the sails are shredded like it's turned turtle, but everything is in place," Mr Livingstone said.

    Relatives who flew into Townsville to join the search said they were trying to remain hopeful.

    James Tunstead's sons Grant and Shane made the emotional journey across the country from WA with their brother-in-law, Paul Grey, arriving at Townsville airport on Friday night.

    "I'll do whatever it takes to find them," Shane said.

    Relatives of the missing men said they were the best of mates and would have tried to save each other if any had come into difficulty.

    "Two of them are brothers, you don't get any closer bond than that," a family spokesman said from Peter Tunstead's home.

    "I'd risk my life for my brothers, so I'm sure it would be a similar situation."

    Seasoned yachtsmen yesterday suggested the trio may have been the victims of piracy.

    Shute Harbour jetty master Mick Phillips said the disappearance of the men was highly suspicious.

    "I can't understand how three people can just disappear without a trace without there being some form of foul play," Mr Phillips said.

    Suspicions were heightened when photographs of the recovered boat revealed its fenders were down, which would normally indicate another boat had come alongside.

    Boating writer Ian Grant said it was very unusual for three people to go overboard -- especially with sails left up.

    He believed the catamaran's engine probably was running to generate power, but he said leaving the fenders out with sails up was strange.

    "The whole thing shows a very average understanding of seamanship," Mr Grant said.

    He believed the most likely theory was one fell in the water and the others jumped in to help.

    Yachties on Hamilton Island said the men could have been victims of drug runners.
    "Contrary to popular belief, you will not rise to the occasion, but will fall to the level of your training"

  2. #2
    BEB
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    Very strange indeed. Awaiting updates.

  3. #3
    Willowdared's Avatar
    Willowdared is offline Bendy not Breaky
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    It made our news too....very sad, whatever may have happened.
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

    Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
    or otherwise distort statements of fact.
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  4. #4
    Hawk1's Avatar
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    UPDATE - Police and SAR have called off the search for the missing sailors. Family members have commenced their own search by charter aircraft (money wasted me thinks). Report for the coroner is being compiled now.

    This whole incident smells really bad, general thought here is that they have faked thier own deaths.
    "Contrary to popular belief, you will not rise to the occasion, but will fall to the level of your training"

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    conalabu is offline Grasshopper
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    How big of an issue is piracy in that area?
    And Shepards we shall be,
    for thee, My Lord, for thee,
    Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
    That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy Command.
    So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
    And teeming with souls will it ever be.
    In Nomine Patris, Et Filli, Et Spiritus Sancti.

  6. #6
    Hawk1's Avatar
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    Apart from a few that may drift down from Papua/New Gineau or even Indonesia..its unheard of. The Navy or customs patrols usually take care of business prior to anything happening.
    However, that said, I was reading a Queensland newspaper on-line earlier and another abandoned vessel has been located late this afternoon approx 160 nautical miles from where the original was located. Makes you wonder I guess???
    "Contrary to popular belief, you will not rise to the occasion, but will fall to the level of your training"

  7. #7
    conalabu is offline Grasshopper
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    Only one explanation for this. Leviathan.
    And Shepards we shall be,
    for thee, My Lord, for thee,
    Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
    That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy Command.
    So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
    And teeming with souls will it ever be.
    In Nomine Patris, Et Filli, Et Spiritus Sancti.

  8. #8
    gozling's Avatar
    gozling is offline the gene pool could use a little chlorine
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    My uncles are mostly captains for people taking their boats all over the world... My uncle was approached outside of south america once. He tried to avoid the boat that was approaching but it was bigger and there was no outrunning. He saw the men on the boat with guns and instantly thought pirates. They shot the sail to shreds and came along side the boat. They actually put out my uncles boats bumpers after they were on his yacht and robbed them of almost everything. Long story short, they were going to take the women that were on the boat but my uncle grabbed one of the head guys and put a gun he had in his pants to his head and demanded they leave and that authorities were notified and enroute.
    It worked, they left and he threw the guy overboard for them to pick him up out of the sea. There was a tanker off in the distance and I guess they thought that was the helping ship... dunno really but it was a close one.
    This sounds soo odd that clothes are left neatly folded and yet the sails are all torn up... no.. this was no storm or anything like that...
    someone came on that boat.
    that sucks.. the worst thing is not knowing what has happend to your family
    geesh.
    http://www.allpoetry.com/Grunts%20Girl

    We dallied under
    Vine maples and sapling alders
    Searched for lady slippers
    But instead
    Found blackberry riots and
    Desiccated branches

    An old skid road
    Brought ghost ferns and
    Hollows filled with
    Skunk cabbage
    While waves wrapped
    Intricate lacings of weeds
    'Round mule spinners

    His cyanotic eyes
    Were hard enough to make
    The sun turn tail and
    Tender enough to attract me
    To his world of illusion

  9. #9
    gozling's Avatar
    gozling is offline the gene pool could use a little chlorine
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    Quote Originally Posted by conalabu View Post
    Only one explanation for this. Leviathan.
    are you speaking leviathan etymology or just something humongous in size in the ocean like another ship? lol

    I dont think it was a huge biblical sea creature do you?

    ps...just kidding.
    http://www.allpoetry.com/Grunts%20Girl

    We dallied under
    Vine maples and sapling alders
    Searched for lady slippers
    But instead
    Found blackberry riots and
    Desiccated branches

    An old skid road
    Brought ghost ferns and
    Hollows filled with
    Skunk cabbage
    While waves wrapped
    Intricate lacings of weeds
    'Round mule spinners

    His cyanotic eyes
    Were hard enough to make
    The sun turn tail and
    Tender enough to attract me
    To his world of illusion

 

 

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