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NZ - Yachties upside down overnight
IT can happen just THAT quick....
Yachties upside down overnight - New Zealand news on Stuff.co.nz
By TRACY NEAL - The Nelson Mail | Tuesday, 06 January 2009
Yachties upside down overnight
The trio who spent a chilly night on their capsized catamaran in Tasman Bay at the weekend were worried about the possibility of a second night exposed to the sea.
Ian Morgan, 45, his brother Neil Morgan, 49, and their 80-year-old father Pat Morgan were rescued about 8am on Sunday by passing boatie Paul Hawes almost a day after their 12-metre catamaran Ma-tori was flipped by strong winds and a choppy sea.
As the boat was bobbing between two marine farms, several boats passed it during the night and the next morning, but it was not until Mr Hawes passed more closely that the men's predicament became clear.
Ian and Neil Morgan were on Monday being helped by friends from the sailing fraternity, who banded together to help salvage the uninsured vessel and to help clean out its contents at a wharf on Nelson's waterfront.
A diving expedition is planned to retrieve the rig, including the sails, which were cut free before Ma-tori was towed to Nelson.
Ma-tori is owned by Ian, a West Coast mine worker who lives aboard the boat. He was on Monday nursing a bad dose of sunburn while his father, who was steering at the time of the capsize, suffered cuts and bruises. He had also shown signs of early hypothermia, and by Monday had returned home to the West Coast.
Neil is in New Zealand on holiday from Canada, where he lives, and managed to avoid injury.
Ian said they were wearing only light clothing, and because they could not recover any emergency equipment or clothing from the capsized yacht after several attempts, they had to improvise, using the floor of the boat's dinghy to create a windshield around them at night as they sat on the upturned hull.
He said it was very cold, with a strong southwest wind blowing.
The men had been heading across Tasman Bay from the Marlborough Sounds on their way back to Westport. After a diversion to Kaiteriteri, they pulled into a cove in Abel Tasman National Park due to a poor weather forecast.
The next day's forecast was not much better, so they decided to head to Mapua, where another family member was staying.
"We were on a direct line with the (mussel) spat farms, and we could have gone through a clearway between the two sections, or around, but we laid off and then went through," Ian Morgan said.
The farms are about three nautical miles (5.6km) off Kaiteriteri.
Mr Morgan said the combination of the boat's mainsail being hauled in tight, "one big wave" and a sudden 35-knot gust of wind lifted the starboard hull, and another gust then tipped the 3.5-tonne vessel over.
"Dad was still in the steering chair when the boat went upside down. Neil was in the companionway," said Mr Morgan, who swam with a rope to one of the farms' marker buoys and secured the yacht.
He estimated the cost of the damage to Ma-tori, including the need for a new mast, at about $80,000.