Salvaged hull of suspected missing catamaran lost at sea

2016-02-01 18:59
Jaryd Payne's mother Lisa Green and her husband Paul. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Jaryd Payne's mother Lisa Green and her husband Paul. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town – Families who anticipated closure following the sighting of a hull believed to belong to the catamaran which went missing last year with three of their family members on board say their hopes have been dashed after valuable evidence was lost at sea.

Anthony Murray, 58, Reginald Robertson, 59, and Jaryd Payne, 20, were delivering the Leopard catamaran, Moorings A5130/Sunsail RC044-978, from Cape Town to Phuket when all contact was lost during a cyclone on January 18 last year.

A hull was recently spotted off Port Elizabeth, a year after the catamaran went missing.

Jeremy Savage, Murray’s brother-in-law, said authorities informed the families on Thursday that they would not deploy any resources to locate the hull.

Through their Facebook page, Searching for Anthony, Reg & Jaryd, the families said they were given a commitment from the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) to go to sea and put a satellite tracker on the hull if it came within reach of any of their coastal station vessels.

"In addition, the families took the decision to fund two air searches with the help of experienced search and rescue pilot, Donavan Jordaan, [as well as] River Air and Sheltam Aviation, all of whom have done what they can to bring their costs down in an effort to help,” Savage said.

Within two days, the NSRI found that another vessel had spotted the hull 42 nautical miles off Cape Agulhas. Two vessels were dispatched to attach a satellite beacon, he said.

Tug lost the hull

“For this, and the images their divers captured, we will always remain grateful. After this, and with significant pressure from ourselves... Samsa authorised the tug Peridot to do the salvage early [evening on Saturday 23].

“For reasons we don’t fully understand... the tug lost the hull during the journey back to port and it has not been seen or found since.”

But thanks to underwater images captured by the NSRI divers, the family is certain that the hull is that of Moorings A5130.

“This... includes the yacht’s identification... and the builder’s name. These images show that the catamaran has drifted thousands and thousands of kilometres to come home,” he said.

It’s very unlikely that their loved ones survived, Murray’s sister-in-law, Diane Coetzer, said.

“The images the NSRI showed us clearly show there’s virtually nothing [left of their vessel]. We’re not expecting them to be alive – that would be an absolute miracle.”

The family would never have the opportunity to bury their loved ones, she said.

“A woman who worked with the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 coined a term called 'ambiguous loss', where you have to live constantly with two things in your mind – our loved ones are gone, but there may also be a chance [that they are found alive].

“It’s torture to live like that.”

Read more on:    nsri  |  cape town

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