Tragedy at Sea

Author: Mark
Date: June 13, 11pm NZT
Location: 28 37 S - 173 32 E
Conditions: 23-25kts @ 150 TWA, 350T COG, 6.5 kts AVG SOG, 3-4 m swell

We had a very sobering day at sea today. We received a call for help from the NZ Rescue Orion airplane. A vessel was apparently knocked down (we don't know for sure), with 5 person on board (POB). 3 POB were injured, one is presumed dead, and the other was thrown overboard. At the time we were the closest vessel to the accident, about 45NM to the west. However, due to the time of day (2.30pm) we could not arrive to the location prior to sunset. We were told to hold our position and be on the lookout for a MOB in the water. Clearly not a good sign as we are just not close enough to help the vessel in distress. Another boat later this afternoon was able to get closer to help. They were apparently a motor vessel of some sort.

While we have not been the most comfortable during the passage today due to confused seas, we are safe, warm and feeling very sad for the crew of the other vessel. The crew and rescue workers are in our thoughts and prayers. This is one of the worst things that could happen to a boat, and safety is nothing we can ever take for granted while sailing at sea, no matter the conditions. Needless to say we have been in a funk all afternoon listening to the rescue efforts on the radio and knowing there is nothing we can do given our location.

To our friends and family, we are not in danger, and the sea state is fine for our vessel. So no need to worry, and rest assured we are safe and looking forward to our arrival to Vanuatu. We plan on arriving some point on Friday, as we have been sailing the past two days very conservatively. We currently are sailing under genoa (2 reefs) only, and have been for the past 24 hours. We are sailing slower than we would normally like in these conditions, but prefer a slow passage in the heavier winds so we don't have to worry about a big 30+ knot gust causing havoc on deck.

Tha's all for now. Sorry, no pics today...just not in the mood...

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