Boat Lost - Two crew dead. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-04-2015 Thread Starter
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Boat Lost - Two crew dead.

This report from the (Australian) Newcastle Herald. What happened is still a mystery but that area is alive with bulk carriers moving in and out of Newcastle Harbour so it is possible they were run down. Stockton Bight itself is a rather nasty piece of water, I've often referred to it as the Stockton Triangle as we've experienced some quite strange events while sailing in the bight on our way to Port Stephens. I don't mean anything supernatural but it has weird shifting sands and winds. On one occasion I recall we were in twenty odd metres of water which suddenly shoaled to just a couple and just as strangely went back to twenty a few minutes later. Meanwhile the wind shifted through over 180 degrees back and forth.

As reported it is quite possible that they both dropped off and ended up in the treacherous Stockton surf but if so why no debris ? Interestingly enough there is no mention of an Epirb nor that they were logged onto the Coastal Patrol radio network. Port Stephens is some 70nms north of Broken Bay. Weather around Sydney (90nms south of PS) has been pretty mild the past few days.

Anywho, conjecture is cheap, maybe more will come out in the next few days. Sad time for their families.

Two found dead on Stockton near dinghy | Newcastle Herald
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-04-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: Boat Lost - Two crew dead.

Just one more point regarding the general area and sailing up the NSW coast.

Said coast has a current that kicks in around the 100 metre line setting south. As a result when heading north you need to hug the coast, preferably taking advantage of the lifts you get from northern headlands. To make matters worse the coast is trending out to the East from Sydney to Port Stephens. If close hauled you need to constantly tack back out to sea making sure you don't go out too far and into the current. I havn't been keeping a close watch on weather conditions the past few days so cannot say what the wind direction was but the prevailing winds off our coastline in summer are NE. At this time of the year however they tend more to come from the southwest and southeast. Yesterday the winds off Newcastle were from the southwest. If that was the case on Thursday then that is perfect for sailing north but as I mentioned in previous post, in the Stockton Bight itself the winds can be all over the shop.


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Last edited by tdw; 09-04-2015 at 09:07 PM.
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Re: Boat Lost - Two crew dead.

Very strange. Sounds like things went bad real fast for them in the middle of the night. Thanks for providing the local detail.

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post #4 of 10 Old 09-04-2015
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Terrible story.
Water temp would still be very low there so hypothermia would ha e been a problem.

Very sad.

Thanks for the report.

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post #5 of 10 Old 09-04-2015
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Re: Boat Lost - Two crew dead.

Another story at Two bodies found in search for missing yacht

"A spokesman for the Bureau of Meteorology said gail force winds in the area, over 30 knots, would have produced significantly rough seas." Gail sounds like one tough sheila. "Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder You better run, you better take cover." (For some reason I always heard the lyrics to the Men at Work song as "Where women blow...")

74 nm in rough conditions for older gents in an eight metre yacht sounds potentially bad.

R.I.P. and condolences to the families and friends.
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-05-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: Boat Lost - Two crew dead.

Thanks for that rgscpat.

If the BOM reckons 30knots then it was likely a bit more than that although I doubt they would have experienced that the whole time. Sydney is approx 17nms south of Broken Bay and while we did have one storm during the week it only lasted a couple of hours. Would have got to them sometime Thursday evening so perhaps it did catch them out but they would have been on a very broad reach, not trying to bash their way into it.

Speculation ... what can I say, it is very hard to resist.

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Re: Boat Lost - Two crew dead.

Sad to see this.
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Re: Boat Lost - Two crew dead.

I've just seen a further report that says sea conditions off Newcastle were pretty willing the other night.

Police search for missing yacht after bodies wash up on beach north of Newcastle - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

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post #9 of 10 Old 09-05-2015
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Re: Boat Lost - Two crew dead.

A sad tale indeed.

I concur with TD in that it is also not my favourite bit of water..... Add a unlit fish trap or two into the mix and the past few times we have sailed through it has always made for a nervous night.

That the inflatable was also found close by speaks to maybe a possible abandoned vessel, but no epirb activated? ( I am assuming they had one but it is just an assumption).

Also no mention whether they had life jackets on?

Apparently the yacht was a Top Hat.

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Last edited by chall03; 09-05-2015 at 08:36 AM.
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-05-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: Boat Lost - Two crew dead.

Chall .... one of them was wearing a life jacket, the other not.

Andrew B (Malö 39 Classic)

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