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Old 10-08-2010, 07:54 PM   #1
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S/V La Tortue Sinks

10/08/2010, Nuku' alofa, Tonga

Lastnight the French sailing vessel La Tortue made a mayday call reporting that their vessel was sinking with 4 people onboard. The boat struck a reef near Ha'apai north of Nuku alofa. The 4 people were able to reach the shore of the small atoll Kelefesia (20 30'S, 174 44'W) with 2 days worth of food and water. The Tonga Navy was dispatched this morning. ETA for rescue is 6:00AM local Tonga time. It is now 8:46AM

No new news as of 8:46AM this morning regarding the rescue efforts or situation that caused the sinking.

La Tortue was moored next to us in Niue just a few weeks ago. She is a 30 meter ketch.
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Old 10-08-2010, 08:54 PM   #2
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Horrible to hear such things - hope they are all safe. Please post updates.
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Old 10-09-2010, 08:33 PM   #3
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The 4 passengers of the French sailing vessel La Tortue were rescued yesterday. They are safe and are now in Nuku alofa.

Latest information is that the vessel was sailing North through the Ha'apai group and were having problems with both their rigging and engine. The nearest land was the small island of Kelefesia which is surrounded by reef. La Tortue attempted to anchor and had difficulty holding. They used multiple anchors due to the storm conditions present at the time and the vessel ended-up hitting the coral reef producing a breach of the hull. At this point, the 4 passengers abondoned ship.

At this time, the owners are arranging an effort to recover their vessel from the reef.
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Old 10-09-2010, 10:52 PM   #4
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Wow. We hope they are able to recover the vessel. That is a very large vessel (30 meters = 97 ft) and if things started going wrong with the rig with only a crew of 4 aboard, it must have been very, very difficult to deal with, especially in storm conditions. Same goes for anchor handling for a yacht of that size in emergency conditions.

We are hopeful that the recovery will go well. Please keep us up to date with what you may learn about the events preceding the grounding as well as the recovery efforts.

Fair winds,
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Old 10-11-2010, 11:58 AM   #5
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Correction : this vessel is not 30m long, it is a (more or less) 14m vessel.

It stays very diffiult anyway ...

We follow this sade story from Paris (we are friends of the crew) and hope to have news as soon as possible.

sebf.
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Old 10-11-2010, 12:14 PM   #6
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Is this the ferro-cement boat that was refitted in French Polynesia recently? If I remember, that boat is about 30 years old. Same one?
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Old 10-11-2010, 01:06 PM   #7
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Indeed this is the one...
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Old 10-12-2010, 02:21 AM   #8
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Ohh, how sad. So much history, so much of his life.
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