Dieter has so far not posted anything on the internet concerning this issue. He has sent a rebuttal to the agencies who have received the beforementioned e-mail from Craig and has contacted his customers with the request to post their experiences with Nakamal in answer to the numerous threads with allegations against him posted by Craig.
Dieter is just leaving port with guests from my yachtcharter agency
. You can easily confirm my identity by sending an e-mail through a contact form on my web-site.
The only reason that I have time for this is, that my boat Freedom Fargo is under repair which gives me some very unwanted free time (I normally would be now in Ang Thong with my customers marvelling at the natural beauty of this national park).
Anyway, to save me some work I will just copy paste part of Dieters rebuttal to the case with some additional pics:
Rebuttal in respect of false and malicious allegations directed at Dieter Dongphragan and his vessel SY “Nakamal”.
Many friends and acquaintances have contacted me in the past few days regarding the malicious email vendetta currently being leveled at me by Craig McPhilimey, Luca Esposito and Stephan Cuglieri. Many of you have said that the attack appears to be spiteful but nevertheless I am sure there are many of you who wonder what could spark off such a concerted vendetta (I certainly have spent the past few days pondering this question). If you have any doubt as to the extent of this vendetta you need only Google my name or that of my catamaran “Nakamal”. Internet aliases used by the trio include SiamSpearo, Siam Sailor , Blue Bear, World Traveller and Spear fishing France.
In order to fully understand why Craig Mc Philimey would find the need to co-ordinate such a widespread attack on me you would need to know Craig Mc Philimey the man as well as have some understanding of the conflict between us. I am unable to offer any worthwhile insight into the man as I barely know him. However, I can provide some insight into why there was conflict on this recent cruise. I apologise for the need to go into so much detail but feel the only way to try to provide some understanding of the matter is to give some insight into the conflict onboard and then leave it to you to draw your own conclusions.
The matter in question arises from a recent cruise to the Andaman Islands onboard my vessel sy Nakamal. Parties onboard include my wife, 5 guests and me. Co-ordination of the guest party was conducted by Craig Mc Philimey who advised that three of their group ( himself, Stephan Cuglieri and Luca Esposito) were very keen spear fishermen who hoped to make some deep water record catches. As this was my first trip to the Andaman Islands I informed Craig that I was eager that the trip should also be a bit of a holiday for my wife and I and in this regard I provided substantial discount to Craig and his group to reflect this arrangement.
The trip was originally scheduled to commence on the 24th February 2010 with a planned return to Phuket on the 11th March 2010. Unfortunately due to medical reasons (removal of tumour on my finger) and what turned out to be a minor water ingress problem on the boat, the start date was postponed by 2 days. The medical delay was notified to the group prior to their arrival in Phuket.
The first instance of conflict arose during the day of the 25th when I informed Craig that we would have to delay departure until the following day in order to investigate and rectify water ingress through a rudder shaft. Craig’s attitude was very abusive and confrontational insisting we should leave that night as they were losing valuable diving time. For safety reasons I had no intention of leaving Phuket until such time as the water ingress problem was rectified but Craig was not prepared to accept my reasoning. The exchange became extremely heated and eventually I told Craig that if he wasn’t prepared to accept my reasons for delaying departure then we should cancel the trip and I would refund monies paid by his party ( Craig’s volatile outburst was witnessed by an independent third party Brent McInnes of the Sand Bar Ao Chalong ). Later that day Craig apologised to me for his behaviour and by early the following morning the water problem had been satisfactorily resolved allowing Nakamal to leave port at 0900 hrs
The crossing to Andaman Islands was smooth and uneventful and after clearing in at Port Blair we set off for Barren Island.
Conflict 2 :
The second point of conflict was related to the spear fishing activities of Craig Stephan and Luca. In total we were anchored off Barren Island for a total of 5 days. As mentioned before my understanding was that the group were all keen and experienced spear fishermen in search of deep water record pelagic catches. It became obvious early on that the group were more intent on shooting anything and everything that came into sight. By the end of the second day we already had more than enough fish onboard to last the rest of the trip. On a number of occasions I raised this matter as I felt the fishing activities were mindless and destructive as we had no more room onboard to refrigerate further catches and being anchored off an uninhabited Island there was no opportunity to pass on any excess catch to local people. The group continued to spear fish which we had previously agreed were not good eating. In a discussion with Craig on this topic I was told that they needed target practice in advance of the big fish and on another occasion was told by Stephan “I’m a spear fishermen I shoot anything I see”. I considered their fishing activities to be mindless and there were many heated discussions on this issue between me and the fishing group.
As mentioned before the arrangements for the trip were conducted on the basis of it also being a holiday for me and my wife. The three man fishing team would daily disappear with the dinghy early in the morning leaving me my wife and the other 2 guests stranded onboard Nakamal wondering when they would return. This issue was discussed and it was agreed that the spear fishing group would dive early in the morning and then return so that others onboard could make use of the dinghy. While this arrangement worked to some extent it was not without conflict as the fishing group seemed hell bent on spending every possible moment shooting fish.
By the third day the anchorage at Barren Island was becoming uncomfortable as weather conditions deteriorated. The original plan was for three days at Barren Island and then move to Narcondam Island however the fishing group were adamant that we should remain at Barren Island as they didn’t want to lose valuable diving time traveling to another Island. I was personally keen to see more of the islands and by going to Narcondam we would at least have the opportunity of giving excess fish to the local inhabitants as clearly the fishing trio had no intention of reducing their fishing activities despite the fact that we had no more available storage onboard. By this time I was tired of trying to reason with the fishing group so I relented to stay at Barren Island despite the fact that the anchorage had become extremely uncomfortable and the motion of the boat at anchor causing some to be sea sick.
On the fifth day the spear fishing party had again set off at sunrise and the weather conditions were worsening. As normal they returned to Nakamal later than agreed and shortly thereafter the dinghy painter ripped the deck cleat from the hull ( the fishing trio had not secured the dinghy as previously instructed to them). It was clear that the weather conditions were such that we should leave and look for a suitable more protected anchorage. Craig and the others refused to leave Barren Island as they believed it offered the best fishing opportunities and felt I only wanted to move the boat to put an end to their fishing activities. He made such an issue that against my better judgement and tired from the confrontation I finally relented and agreed to stay at anchor providing the conditions improved ( it seemed as though I had no other choice). In the early hours of the following day (approx 3am) I was awoken by the boats movements straining on the anchor. I went on deck and decided that conditions had worsened and that we should leave as soon as possible. Andrew another guest sleeping on deck was awake at this time and agreed that the conditions were worsening. I woke the others and informed them that we had to leave and that they should store their equipment lying on the deck. Craig again became offensive accusing me of breaking my promise but at no time taking cognisance of my reasons for leaving what was now an extremely uncomfortable anchorage. I advise that the weather had worsened since we last spoke and that as Captain of the vessel it was my decision and my responsibility on whether or not it was safe to remain in the anchorage. I continued to get the boat ready and finally when securing the dinghy onboard the wind suddenly died and conditions improved. I told the guests that it appeared as though the bad weather had passed and assuming it remained that way we could remain in the anchorage for a final days activities.
Having gone back to sleep I was later awoken by heavy footsteps on deck. I went to investigate and found the spear fishing team packing their equipment. I asked what was happening and they told me they wanted to return immediately to Port Blair so they could get off the ship as I had ruined their holiday. I asked where Craig was and was told he was still sleeping and I should hope that he slept for a long time as Craig was going to kill me when he woke up.
On the way back to Port Blair passing Sir Hugh Rose Island the party asked if we could stop at the island to relax and swim. We took the dinghy ashore and some of the group went to the beach for a few hours. On return to the boat I advised that we would take a few hours sleep and then leave for Port Blair later in the night affording an early daylight arrival in Port Blair. The spear fishing trio immediately put up resistance and demanded to go back to Port Blair immediately. Like most skippers for safety reasons I prefer to make landfalls wherever possible during daylight hours however by this time I was tired of trying to reason with Craig so we left as soon as possible for Port Blair.
We returned to Port Blair arriving sometime around 9pm at night whereupon the guests packed their bags and Craig advised me that all other guests were leaving the boat and that he would stay onboard and I was to bring him back to Thailand immediately. By this time relations between myself and Craig were untenable as he was not happy to accept any decisions made by the Captain of the vessel he seemed to have the attitude that it’s my holiday so I will make the decisions onboard. I told Craig that given his attitude onboard I was not in agreement to taking him back to Thailand but that I would transport his equipment. At this Craig jumped up and head butted me on the nose all the while ranting and threatening me while grabbing me by the throat. During this exchange Craig threatened to destroy me and my business.
In answer to the question was their any conflict onboard the answer is obviously yes. From my viewpoint I was not happy with:
1. Craig not prepared to accept any decision making from the skipper if that decision had any impact on his spear fishing time ( e.g. His attitude when advised we needed to delay commencement of the trip in order to rectify and investigate water ingress through one rudder shaft and his attitude to my desire for moving the boat when conditions became extremely uncomfortable at Barren Island).
2. I was not happy with the fishing trios spear fishing activities which I considered to be mindless and destructive and contrary to the agreement prior to the start of the trip that no fish caught would go to waste.
3. Craig’s unwarranted physical assault on me upon return to Port Blair when I refused to take him back to Thailand onboard Nakamal.
So far so good, this is the end of the quoted txt.
On the second pic you see the catch of the day for 7 people. This is
about 60 kg of fish of which about 57kg are going to waste! The yacht
was anchored off an uninhabited island so no chance of giving the fish
away to other people! Nakamal is not a fish trawler!
Those guys were slaughtering every day a similar amount of fish and
forced the captain to stay on that anachorage even when the weather
conditions became dangerous blaming Dieter that he only wanted to
leave to stop them killing more fish.
I'm a spearfisher myself. but I never shot more than what can be
consumed without rotting away. I'm deeply disgusted looking at those
pics (I've got a lot more of them) thinking about how these rascals
can intimidate a man almost double their age to do things against his
better judgement and then when he finally decided enough is enough to
even assault him.
What Dieter really can be blamed for is not getting rid of those guys after the second day on Barren island.