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-   -   Kaz 2, Australian Yacht - Will We Ever Know? (

markje4 04-20-2007 01:43 AM

Dasnowz 04-20-2007 02:02 AM

Sounds pretty eiree. Ghost ship perhaps ;)

Dave & Jenn (Dasnowz)

Spike_dawg 04-20-2007 05:36 AM

Geez...3 guys missing. A single hander is pretty easy to explain. Two people is a little more difficult but plausible. Three is incredible. I hope they find the men...for their safety and also to answer exactly what happened on board.

Auzzee 04-20-2007 08:20 AM


Details emerge about mystery yacht

Friday Apr 20 15:00 AEST

By ninemsn staff and wires

A "ghost ship" found drifting off the north Queensland coast had put down its protective fenders and had a large tear in one of its sails.

Footage taken out at sea shows the 12-metre abandoned catamaran KAZ II drifting with three black fenders dangling off its port side.

Jeff Anderson, from the Port Doulgas Coastguard, said fenders were usually only used when one vessel was pulling up alongside another.

"Or if you were pulling up to a pontoon. No other reason for doing it, generally."

"[Fenders] stop whatever's running alongside the vessel from scratching it."

The craft was first spotted by a coastwatch aircraft on Wednesday near the outer Great Barrier Reef after leaving Airlie Beach on Sunday.

Rescue crews who visited the abandoned boat last night found computers running and food on a table ready to eat.

The catamaran's dingy was still attached, police said, but this was disputed by emergency services crew out at the scene at dawn today who said there was no lifeboat to be seen.

A rescue helicopter identified the yacht overnight and confirmed there was no one aboard.

Queensland police have confirmed three men from Western Australia are missing. They men aged 56, 63 and 69, according to the ABC are thought to have bought the yacht at Airlie Beach and were sailing it back home to Western Australia.

Emergency Management Queensland spokesman Jon Hall said crews were puzzled by what they found because "everything appeared normal".

"They got on board and said the engine was running, the computers were running, there was a laptop set up on the table which was running, the radio was working, the GPS was working and there was food and utensils set on the table ready to eat, but no sign of the crew," he said.

"It was a bit strange."

Mr Hall said crews returned to the boat on Friday morning, around 80 nautical miles off Townsville, to check if anyone was trapped inside.

He said they retrieved the boat's GPS system to analyse data for clues to the mysterious disappearance of the crew.

"That will now enable us to track backwards where this yacht has actually been in the last few days, and we're hoping that can pinpoint the search area for the missing crew," he said.

Meteorologists have ruled out the possibility a freak wave swept the three men overboard.

"There was no evidence of a freak wave occurring in that area [in that time]," said Greg Connor, from the Townsville Bureau of Meteorology. "Weather conditions were relatively good."

Mr Connor said no unusual weather was recorded in the area between Sunday and Wednesday.

"There were quite strong trade winds south-easterlies at 20 knots but nothing that should have caused concern," he said.

The boat is now being towed to Townsville for closer inspection.

"It seems very unusual," north Queensland police Chief Superintendent Roy Wall told reporters in Townsville.

"The weather on Sunday, Monday wasn't too good - there was a fair sort of a wind blowing out there.

"But it's improved since then, so who knows what could have happened."

Seven aircraft were searching the vicinity for the three men this afternoon.

Their families were being kept informed of search efforts.

Lighthouse 04-20-2007 08:43 AM

A photo at shows some (torn) sail up. All three taken off in a jibe perhaps?

JeanneP 04-20-2007 06:17 PM

I don't like criticizing news and rescue workers, but the English language seems to invite misunderstandings and misinformation. For example,

"The catamaran's dingy was still attached, police said, but this was disputed by emergency services crew out at the scene at dawn today who said there was no lifeboat to be seen."

You can see from the news photo below that the dinghy is, indeed, still attached. Somebody is making a mistake by confusing "dinghy" with "lifeboat," whether it's the news reporter or or the emergency services crew, it's still confusing and misleading.

(Photo: )

However, with the shredded jib and what looks like some problem with the mainsail, perhaps there was a collision with something though I don't see much other damage, particularly bent stanchions. I don't see how a jibe could sweep them off, since the boom is well over most people's heads.

Speculation - a cascading series of errors - one fellow falling overboard and his friends running on deck and in attempting to rescue him, getting pullled overboard, too.

I doubt we'll ever know, which is a shame.

Lighthouse 04-20-2007 06:30 PM

I've looked & looked at the photo. Can anyone see the traveller? If they were on deck they could have been knocked off in a jybe.

Can anyone see a danbuoy?

Is the anchor chain locker open on the foredeck? Anyone see the anchor or the chain across the foredeck?

Complete mystery!

Lighthouse 04-20-2007 07:30 PM

There is something strange here - have a look at the two photos carefully. Look at the solar panels.

(Photo: EPA)

(Photo: )


[EDIT] On further study the solar panels look OK.


Auzzee 04-20-2007 09:00 PM

To my mind, the important point remains. Why when far out to sea were fenders deployed and the engine(s) running with the gearbox(es) in neutral??


Lighthouse 04-21-2007 06:42 PM



The drifting yacht.

Rescuers searching for the missing crew of a yacht found deserted off Australia's Great Barrier Reef think it may have been drifting since Sunday. One theory is that members of the three-man crew fell overboard in bad weather conditions, greatly diminishing the chances of finding them alive.

A search now has been scaled back to the north Queensland coast, in the hope that the crew made it to shore.

The Kaz II was found with its engine running and a table laid for dinner.

But there were no signs of any people.

Mysterious disappearance

The boat left Airlie Beach on Sunday bound for Townsville on the first leg of a voyage around northern Australia.

The 12m (40 foot) catamaran was spotted by a helicopter on Wednesday drifting off the Great Barrier Reef, but a rescue team only reached the boat on Friday, and confirmed that there was no one aboard.

Rescue crews say they are puzzled by the mysterious disappearance.

"The engine was running, the computers were running, there was a laptop set up on the table which was running, the radio was working... and there was food and utensils set on the table ready to eat," said Jon Hall, a spokesman for Queensland's Emergency Management office.

"It was a bit strange," he added.

All the vessel's sails were up, although one was badly shredded, and lifejackets were still on board.

Mr Hall said rescue workers had recovered the boat's Global Positioning System (GPS) device, which might give them more clues as to the crew's whereabouts.

"That will now enable us to track backwards where this yacht has actually been in the last few days, and we're hoping that this can pinpoint the search area for the missing crew," he said.

Australian media reported the names of the sailors as skipper Derek Batten, 56, and brothers Peter and James Tunstead, ages 69 and 63.

The three are neighbours in Perth, Western Australia.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said the men were planning to sail around northern Australia to Western Australia.

The KAZ II is now back in port. Police forensic teams say they do not suspect foul play.

Lighthouse 04-23-2007 05:49 PM


Authorities called off the search yesterday, but the trio's family members have refused to give up hope and spent today unsuccessfully searching Airlie Beach and its surrounding islands.

There is a range of theories about what happened to the men.

One is that they fell overboard in rough seas. Another is that another vessel came alongside and they boarded it, either willingly or unwillingly, as if they had been attacked by pirates.

Family members are hopeful the trio managed to swim to a nearby island and are awaiting rescue.

"That's our hope. That's where we're going to concentrate today," James Tunstead's son Shane Webber told ABC radio.

"Maybe they've all got knocked over by the boom, or something happened at the back of the boat when they were fishing because we know they were fishing at the time by video footage we've seen from the Townsville police".

"That's about the only theories we can come up with at the moment." Share this article

Lighthouse 04-24-2007 03:22 PM


Kidnap theory for missing yachtsmen

Relatives of the skipper of an empty yacht found drifting off north Queensland say they believe the three missing crew members are alive, but in danger.

Hope Himing, niece of Derek Batten, 56, said she and her mother have had "spiritual contact" from her uncle - known to the family as "Des" - suggesting he is alive but fighting for his life.

"My mum and I are both Spiritualists. My mum's had a really strong feeling from Des that he's somewhere dark and he can't see and I don't feel that he's dead either," Ms Himing said.

"I don't think he's got a lot left in him but I actually don't think he's dead, and so everything we can do to get (people) out there looking again is a huge thing."

Ms Himing said she believes Mr Batten and his crew members - brothers Peter and James Tunstead, aged 69 and 63, all from Perth - may have been kidnapped.

The trio went missing some time after their yacht left Shute Harbour at Airlie Beach the Sunday before last. The 9.8-metre catamaran, KAZ II, was found unmanned and adrift off the coast of Townsville last Wednesday.

Emergency service crews found the engine running, computers turned on, food on the table and the GPS system operating - but no sign of the boat's crew.

"It just doesn't all add up," Ms Himing said. "If it was bad weather why would their fishing line be out? "Why would their clothes be piled up (and) if it was that bad that it would have knocked three experienced sailors off, why wouldn't they have put on their lifejackets?"

Ms Himing dismissed police suggestions that the experienced sailors were washed overboard in bad weather.

She said she strongly believed that the yacht was boarded, and that they may have been kidnapped.

"The fenders were out on their yacht, and the only reason you ever put them out is when another boat comes aside or if you come to rest against a wharf," she said. "It looks like they've been boarded."

Ms Himing said the families would continue to search Airlie Beach and the surrounding islands until they had closure. She expressed dismay at the amount of time authorities spent searching the area, and said James Tunstead's son, Shane Webber, had already told them he would continue his own search until he found something.

"The police have dropped interest very quickly and dropped the search ... we feel hugely let down about this," Ms Himing said.

"They've spent days longer looking for other people in situations like this, so why have they called this one off so quickly?"

Ms Himing said the lack of closure was the most painful part of the situation.

"The hardest thing for us now is waiting and not knowing," she said. "You can deal with a bad accident (where) they've passed away because you know, but when you don't, and to have so many questions hanging over it... it's very difficult."

Queensland police said in a statement on Monday night they would continue to keep "a watchful eye" for the three missing men.

"Despite the search being officially suspended, a Queensland Police Service aircraft will continue to monitor in an effort to locate the bodies of the missing three men," the statement said.

But police said medical advice was that the chances of survival would be "highly unlikely".


Trim50 04-24-2007 05:36 PM

Here is my theory: They set sail and forgot to pull in fenders...happens every day. The Geni is torn suggesting that the sail got fouled while in windy conditions. Two of the men went forward to fix the issue and one or both got dumped as the boat turned up or the boom took them off the deck. The third guy was below fixing dinner and heard the two guys go a panic, he jumped in to help and the boat sailed away.

Open Water 3

Nausikaa 04-24-2007 05:52 PM

I find it strange that the cutlery was on the table if, as claimed, the guys went overboard in hard weather.

I have never sailed a cat but, even if they are much less prone to roling than a monohull, I don't think knives and forks wold remain on the table in hard weather.

Trim 50's theory ios quite plausable. I am sure though that other explanations can be put forward as well but it looks as if we will never know what has happened. Maybe forensics will come up with something?




Trim50 04-24-2007 10:05 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Rescuers did find a cat hiding away between bulkheads.

Attachment 7

Charlie Jones 04-25-2007 12:56 AM

Here's a link to a post on another board, from someone IN Australia, where the boat was brought in- Might begin to shead a BIT of light.

According to the previous owner, those fenders were ALWAYS kept tied on, but just flipped up on deck. So they could eaasily have fallen off the deck in any lkind of rough weather. Makes them a non- critical item. Also NO food was found on the table- just the dishes.

JeanneP 04-25-2007 01:07 AM

My heart aches for the families, and I can understand their refusal to give up. However, I'm no believer in spiritualists.

More speculation. That the fenders were deployed could simply be, as mentioned, that they just didn't stow them. There were fenders on both sides of the boat, further convincing me that they had just not been taken in after they set sail. I can't imagine the men putting out fenders to facilitate an unwelcome boarding, and I didn't read that there were any signs of a struggle.

I think that the boat is worth more than the three men, particularly since there are no reports that their bank accounts have been touched since their disappearance. It seems more likely that bad guys would steal the boat and dump the men. Even the dinghy and outboard are worth a couple thousand dollars.

Although their families say that the men were experienced yachtsmen, I wonder if they had ever sailed on a multihull before. Although cats don't heel so stuff put on the table stays there, the motion is quite different from a monohull, and tends to be quicker and "jerkier" (I can't think of a better word). Once you get used to a cat's motion it's easy to keep your balance, but at first it's a big surprise from what a monohull sailor expects. I could see someone checking his fishing line at the stern and being jolted overboard.

But we can speculate all day, and be no closer to an answer. How sad for their families not to know.

Jan 05-04-2007 09:17 AM

Has there been any more information on this horrible topic?

Search en rescue efforts, background on preparation, .... ?

It still doesn't make sense.


Lighthouse 05-04-2007 09:42 AM


Nothing except that the authorities have given up the search.

markje4 05-05-2007 02:53 AM


Originally Posted by Jan (Post 6743)
Has there been any more information on this horrible topic?

Search en rescue efforts, background on preparation, .... ?

It still doesn't make sense.


Latest report/information:


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