Our local newspaper (West Australian) has a five page article on Kaz II, the catamaran where three people went missing in April 2007 off the Queensland coast. Appears to be a well researched article. The three people lived in Perth so there has always been alot of interest in the mystery. Unfortunately I cannot find a copy of the article on the internet, so I have summarised the new items.
(If you are unfamiliar with Kaz II this link
gives a pretty good summary. This thread
also discussed it, however there is a bit of spam at the end.)
at the time of the accident the crew were said to be experienced sailors, however the article highlighted that the skipper first got into sailing around 2005/06 when he purchased a small monohull sailboat, then a bigger one. He had twice sailed on Kaz II around the Whitsunday Islands during school holidays. The other two crew's experience was limited to sailing dinghys in the Swan river; neither of them had owned or sailed on a seagoing yacht.
The former owner of Kaz II also helped the skipper out in setting up the navigation on a laptop computer. He remarked that the planned route through Gloucester Passage was "...impossible because it did'nt go around the various shoals and navigation markers necessary to negotiate the passage safely."
The article also stated that "They promised their anxious wives they'd "avoid bad weather and never sail at night (a dubious pledge given the distances involved and the fact that seeking a anchorage in bad conditions can be more dangerous than staying at sea.)"
Food was found on the table
this was falsely reported in earlier reports, however it was incorrect. No food was found on the table. What was found on the table was a newspaper, cutlery, video camera, cameras, mobile phones, wallets and watches. In the cockpit was towels, clothing and sunglasses.
Weather conditions were around 15kts the morning they left, reaching 30kts that afternoon.
Kaz II is a 10.6m Crowther Osprey. Apparently the boat was in good condition, it was previously owned by an engineer who is described as "...a meticulous man who'd done everything he could to help the voyagers with thier preparations."
There are a lot of details in the article, however I think the above covers the main new info.
The author of the article believes that some sort of accident occurred which resulted in all three persons ending up in the water. However most of the families believe that some sort of conspiracy theory was involved, ie murdered by smugglers, drugs on board, etc.
The police are reported to believe that the crew were victims of a mishap at sea, probably linked to the rough conditions about noon on Sunday. A coroner's inquiry is due in mid June which should clarify the official position.
After reading the article I would say some sort of accident which resulted in all three ending up in the water is the most likely scenario. Most of us would understand that in 30kt winds all sorts of things can go wrong and, given the limited experience the crew had, one or two persons ending up in the water is a real possibility, with the third person falling in during the rescue attempt.
My thoughts are with the families.