Explorer's data stolen from yacht

2012-08-07 12:01

Cape Town - Well-known South African explorer Mike Horn has suffered what he describes as his "biggest loss ever", after four years of data and equipment were stolen from his yacht while it was moored at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

Die Burger reports that thieves stole two computers and hard drives containing data recorded during an expedition of nearly 225 000km around the world.

A hard drive containing back-up data, cellphones, a pair of shoes, cigarettes and his car keys were also stolen. The computer containing the yacht's navigation programme was damaged.

"It is my biggest loss ever - my computer with all the contents. That’s four years of exploration lost. It is very sad, because it is part of history that is lost," said Horn on Monday.

“We have sailed all over the world and have never lost even a single screw, now we come to South Africa and we are cheated.”

Horn said his family and two crew members were asleep when the boat was robbed last week. He heard the thief rustling through the gear, but thought it was one of the crew making coffee. He was not impressed with the harbour's security, but admitted that the yacht was not locked.

V&A Waterfront spokesperson Annemie Liebenberg said the incident was regrettable, and that about 100 security guards were on duty at the Waterfront.

Horn recently mentored the Proteas cricket team during a team-building camp in Switzerland.


  • michael.vanrheenen.9 - 2012-08-07 12:05

    LOL! Welcome to SA boet! Your sugar is not even safe in your coffee!

      michael.vanrheenen.9 - 2012-08-07 12:08

      Those tik-koppe are having a ball with your goods' money... That equiment has probably been bought already from the second hand shop it was sold too...

      scouter.fourone - 2012-08-07 13:03

      A yacht is the not the best of places to store the only record of a four year, 225,000km expedition. Don't think yachts were ever intended to serve as sole repositories for valuable research data - too many bad things can happen.

  • Erna - 2012-08-07 12:10

    In SA the steal from the blind, the young, the sick, the religious - anyone is fair game.

  • Increasingly Annoyed - 2012-08-07 12:25


  • boffin.bobreturns - 2012-08-07 12:25

    Probably fortunate that he did not confront the intruder.

      Johan De Beer - 2012-08-07 14:45

      Mike would have messed him up

  • ianmichaelcalder - 2012-08-07 12:29

    Guess its a terrible loss, but DUDE, you've got to ask yourself. All your data is on your yacht, surrounded by water, and you had NO BACKUP? You could have spilled your morning coffee with the same end result. Jeepers, I'm happy to donate 5 USD a month for you to get a cloud storage account!

      mike.hunnt.140 - 2012-08-07 12:34

      His backup was stolen. Read the article. But I agree, he should have had a backup of his backup, stored in a hidden compartment, on his ship. I doubt cloud storage would be effective when you are in the middle of the pacific ocean, especially with no 3G signal, not to mention the cost. Im sure we are talking TB's of information stolen.

      gordon.turner.37 - 2012-08-07 12:47

      He has been on land PLENTY to have off-site back-ups. It is an amateur error from a professional.

      gareth.coats - 2012-08-07 12:58

      I agree. Satellite link ups aren't just for phoning home and checking in!!

      Matthew - 2012-08-07 13:05

      Have to agree on this one.Family is also a bunch a sailors (yachts etc) and you always back up a back least the family was safe =)

  • sean.crookson - 2012-08-07 12:32

    Circulate makes, models, serial numbers + post a reward. 2nd-hand shops are regulated by the police. Crime is very high in Cape Town, so nobody is surprised.

      Clayton Richard Delport - 2012-08-07 12:49

      Hahaha what? That had us sitting in a computer at someone's house formatted and probably a pirated windows 7 haha

  • michellec.strydom.5 - 2012-08-07 12:38

    Two words dude. Cloud. Storage.

  • thando.moloi.9 - 2012-08-07 12:40

    Yeah,did this guy expect to meet mandelas in capetown? The pure race(whites) has warned many times over that this is a savage country, it is sad that he did not take heed. Listen to white people, they will tell you that SA "is in the gutters", and you better listen.

      michael.vanrheenen.9 - 2012-08-07 12:43

      Hahahaha! You made me laugh there! Good comment!

      kevin.maree.3 - 2012-08-07 12:49

      Well, the dooms-dayers certainly weren't proven wrong in this case!!

      Matthew - 2012-08-07 13:07

      you have my "like" and all...but whats with the "pure race"?

  • firstseed.mbeva.9 - 2012-08-07 12:44

    A hard drive containing back-up data was also stolen.What a back up?

      Clayton Richard Delport - 2012-08-07 12:47

      A back up is fancy way of saying a copy of all his information, and yes that does suck but you know I burn through hard drives alot so I know always make back ups of back ups of back ups and don't store them in you computer!!

  • justindeklerk - 2012-08-07 12:46

    Heartbreaking! This country has some of the best people in the world, but also most of the worst! The lowest forms of human life dwell in this place and they are a threat to the very fabric of mankind in SA! Low life scum!

  • Gavin - 2012-08-07 12:47

    don't steal - the government doesn't like competition !

  • laren.krog - 2012-08-07 12:58

    Well I don't suffer fools gladly. If the data was that valuable and storage media is so cheap. How about off site back ups and possibly cloud back ups for next time.

  • gareth.coats - 2012-08-07 13:00

    100 security guards were on duty... Well then, there's your short-list of suspects...

  • kingkongVB - 2012-08-07 13:01

    He forgot to reacclimatize to the African continents crime weather

  • Matthew - 2012-08-07 13:04

    100 security gaurds that do buggerall

  • GregGow1234 - 2012-08-07 13:23

    Lets get real here store the information on cloud servers as it can be accessed from anywhere in the world.

  • pngee - 2012-08-07 13:47

    Well I guess it is because of apartheid, nothing to do with the simple fact that we live cheek by jowl with a hoard of thieving humans??

  • roy.wadhams.1 - 2012-08-07 13:54

    Welcome to South Africa/Cape Town where people take whatever they want and will get away with it because of our pathetic SAPS and because the country is run by thieves and a corrupt ANC government which makes everything that is crooked,possible.

  • matewis1 - 2012-08-07 14:20

    I'm not knocking South Africa, but I know for a fact that V&A Security are a joke. My office was there and once a week someone would stroll into the parking lot and break into cars. Even the Police will tell you that the security are useless.

  • heinrich.spreeth - 2012-08-07 14:24

    Backup data much?

  • Johan De Beer - 2012-08-07 14:48

    Mike is our own Chuck Norris. Had he caught the thief, then this story might have been much more serious.

  • john.masengo - 2012-08-07 16:42

    I am sorry for your loss. This is South Africa afterall run by the association of national criminals (anc). Best of luck to you.

  • thethird.wors - 2012-08-08 09:14

    Death. Taxes. Data loss.... come now bud, backup, backup, backup.

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