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 How things can go wrong!

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Rhod Lloyd
Ray hunter

Number of posts : 318
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Location : Bottom of the world, New Zealand

PostSubject: How things can go wrong!   Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:02 am

I suppose this is the correct part of the forum for this post.
The Charter vessel Francie, 8 out of 11 drowned including the skipper, Saturday 26 November 2016
The sinking of the "Francie" was a bit of a wake up call for all who fish around the Kaipara entrance, it is not called the graveyard for nothing. I was down there 4 days before, a skipper rang me the day before to say he had a spare place on a charter, so I said yes, had to rearange a couple of things as I take Judy in to Helensville on Tuesday mornings. A friend of hers agreed to pick her up.
We boarded the boat at 6am, and an hour and a bit later we had a look at the channel we use to cross the bar, but decided it was too rough and messy, if you cannot see it clearly do not attempt it. The channel is only about 100m wide and has a dogleg part way through. no trouble in less than 1m of swell. It does not move much and all the boats have GPS coordinates all the way through. There is probably a kilometer of channel through the bar then a long shallow stretch which heaps the ocean swells up as they feel the bottom, quite awe inspiring.
The skipper of the Francie did everything wrong, there were about 10 boats around the graveyard that day, and a nasty forecast, of 50kmh on shore for the afternoon, he was the only one to cross, they got out all right near high tide, but left returning untill the wind had risen. The tide was close to low, and with shallow water , an outgoing tide, a choppy increasing swell hitting the current makes the waves stand up.
The skipper logged a bar crossing report with coastguard  for an hours duration and radioed a report saying it was difficult. When the hour was up the coastguard tried to call the vessel, then initiated an emergency.
 None of the other boats had seen her, though they were mostly a kilometer or more away further out in the main channel (much wider and deeper but still with the bar further out).
An aerial search was started, 2 of them managed to reach the shore, and another was picked up by helicopter plus a couple of bodies. It is not yet known whether lifejackets were worn by all the crew, one stated that a lifejacket he tried to put on was too small, They were all Islanders (Tonga and Samoa) and are big men and with wet weather gear even bigger. There is still one body not recovered
 One of the survivors said a large wave was astern of them then a wall of white water hit them from the side and rolled her three times.
The skipper was faced with either try the crossing or stay out in worsening weather, either option very dodgy.  
This is not the first charter boat to come to grief, about 15 years ago an 18 foot aluminium boat was at the graveyard on an outgoing tide which is when most boats go there as the outgoing current dampens the swells coming over the bar. When anchored the stern faces the incoming very confused swell, it is thought they opened a door in the stern to pull a shark aboard and a wave came in as well, with the 3 people at the stern she could have gone down quickly.
I think one survived but the boat was never found.
(The last body was found on Monday.)
I do not think I had been on that boat, which was only 10 years old and formerly owned by a skipper I had been out with many times. As far as I know I did not know any of the crew
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Species Hunt Winner 2017
Species Hunt Winner 2017

Number of posts : 882
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Location : Rhyl

PostSubject: Re: How things can go wrong!   Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:14 am

Very sad news when something like that happens Rhod, it`s a good job we don`t face conditions like that around here. Our charter boats aren`t allowed out from Rhyl in anything over a stiff breeze.
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Location : Colwyn Bay

PostSubject: Re: How things can go wrong!   Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:55 pm

Very sad news that Rhod but told very well Exclamation
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Swordfish Hunter

Number of posts : 3530
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Location : manchester

PostSubject: Re: How things can go wrong!   Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:24 pm

Sad Sad
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The Big Cheese

Number of posts : 4713
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Location : Sunny Rhyl, near t'beach and the old folks home

PostSubject: Re: How things can go wrong!   Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:41 pm

A sobering account indeed
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How things can go wrong!
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