Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Melanin Lenses

Mystery deepens over missing sailor

by Sail-World Cruising round-up on 31 Jul 2012
Sean Terry, missing cruising sailor - photo Dan Newling .. .
More information has come to light about the disappearance of long range cruising sailor Sean Terry, but the mystery as to what could have happened to him merely deepens. Meanwhile, Austrian scuba diving instructor Stefan Pokorny is being held by Seychelles police, who have so far not charged him with any crime.

Sean Terry, 48, vanished while piloting his yacht from the Maldives to Madagascar during a round-the-world sailing trip. The only other crew on board - Pokorny - has claimed he jumped overboard in a fit of anger.

Sean Terry worked as quantity surveyor in Watford before retiring early to sail his 40ft yacht Finnegan around the world.He was last heard from on 18 June, soon after he and Pokorny, 36, left the remote Chagos islands en route for Madagascar.

Seven days later Pokorny piloted the yacht into the small coral island of Coetivy, part of the Seychelles archipelago, alone.

Police remain suspicious about Pokorny's claim that Terry jumped overboard, because the yacht’s 'man overboard' alert button was not pushed - and nor did Pokorny seem to have adequately sought help from nearby shipping, the spokesman said.

Showing her lack of knowledge of MOB procedures, Police spokesperson Judith Middleton said: 'Sean had given no indication of wanting to commit suicide at all. 'After all, this man is meant to be a highly experienced diver. Why on earth did he not try dive in and rescue Sean? Or at least do more to get help.'

Mrs Middleton also revealed that some of Mr Terry’s items, including two laptop computers, are missing from the boat.
The ship’s logbook, in which its captain is obliged to note down any problems, has also disappeared, she said.

Sean was born in the UK but grew up in South Africa. He returned to Britain to work as a quantity surveyor for the engineering firm Edmund Nuttall. However, he got bored of corporate life and ten years ago bought a boat in which he sailed around the world, something he usually did single-handedly.

He is unmarried and has no children. At the time of his disappearance he had split from a woman he had met while sailing, but the split was amicable and he was in the process of arranging to meet up with her again, the family spokesman said.

His disappearance occurred just as he was coming to the end of a complete circumnavigation of the globe.
Having travelled west from Europe, he is believed to have teamed up with Pokorny in Sri Lanka. The plan, Mr Terry emailed his family to say, was that the pair would scuba dive together in the Indian Ocean’s warm, clear waters.
Mr Terry told his family he was excited about the prospect of scuba diving but was also looking forward to joining them in Cape Town, South Africa for Christmas.

Initially they travelled alongside an Italian-owned yacht, called the Alice, whose crew last had radio contact with the pair on 18th June.
The point at which this last radio contact was made was about 300 miles west of the Chagos islands, roughly a quarter of the way to Madagascar.
This point is so remote that the nearest continental land masses, India and Africa, are both over 1,500 miles away.

Pokorny is due to appear in court in the Seychelles’ capital Victoria this Thursday, although it is unclear what charges, if any, he may face.

A spokesman for the Seychelles’ Attorney General said: 'We can confirm that a man is being held in custody but the case is still open and all possible explanations are being investigated by the Seychelles Police regarding the disappearance of Sean Terry.'

For the original report of Sean Terry's disappearance, including a map showing his intended route, http://www.sail-world.com/CruisingAus/Austrian-sailor-held-over-missing-South-African-yachtsman/100078!click_here.
.....................
Letter from Reader:
Sender: Hannes PLvschberger

Message: I have been a friend of Stefan for more than 12 years and did spend a lot of my free time when he was still in Vienna - and also two holidays - together with him.
Stefan is a convinced vegetarian, detests violence and is a very calm and quiet person.
If he happened to witness disputes, he was always the person to step in peacefully and tried to solve the problem by talking .
I know that Stefan is a person you can trust on for 100 %. Even in difficult situations he is a person to rely on. I experienced with him a situation six years ago when the state of health of my father was getting worse. We were together in Sardegna (Italy) and Stefan helped me drive back to Vienna as fast as we could, helped me organizing everything to get back soon enough to see my father once more.
The situation in which Stefan is now is certainly the worst that could happen to him. I am sure he must had quite difficulties after this short time on board to steer a big ship like that precisely in a rescue situation. Additionally you should not leave a ship when you are the last person on it. As discussed in some reports: why didn?t he jump in ? , this seems not to be a good advice in such a situation in the middle of the sea . That would have been a extremely risky situation for him too. (and I personally know that he is not a good swimmer at all, I learned that in Sardegna. And he is not a strong man, he doesn?t weigh more than 50 kgs and is not well trained) If the boat traveled under sails, it would have been almost impossible to react quickly. Why no life saver has been thrown this can answer Stefan only. But everything we do here is speculating.
For me it sounds that Stefan has just decided to tell the true story, even it sounds not perfect for him, and now has to pay the price for it. But this is how Stefan works.
He managed to bring himself back after a probably difficult situation, and I would assume that thinking what he could have done better in this situation is on his mind ever since. Everyone who now know from the distance so exactly what needed to be done,should think about the reality of this situation and how he/she would have reacted.
It is a tragic story now especially for the family and friends of Sean Terry, but this should not be a situation of prejudgement of Stefan. My sympathy to everyone who suffer from this situation and I hope that a fair investigation can take place.


Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted today at 5:56 am
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
Pantaenius – Smooth sailing is more than a favourable weather forecast
Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia As Pantaenius get ready to launch into their fourth year operating in Australia, we get to see why they continue to grow their happy crew of customers. Sitting down with Pantaenius Australia’s MD, Jamie MacPhail, you immediately get a sense that the smooth sailing is a direct result of both their unique product and the marketplace’s willingness to embrace the better mousetrap
Posted on 27 Apr
100 days to Rio, are there potholes and bumps ahead?
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for most crews.
Posted on 26 Apr
Is George Lucas a sailor?
He’s very famous for a lot of things, and justifiably so. One of them is Industrial Light and Magic He’s very famous for a lot of things, and justifiably so. One of them is Industrial Light and Magic, which has been instrumental in the making of many of the special effects that have made the digital world so impressive. Gone are the smears of Vaseline along the bottom edge of the clear filter to hide the trolley that was actually transporting Luke Skywalker’s Speeder, for instance.
Posted on 25 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Can World Sailing learn from dear old Oz?
Why just lay the drop sheets out and tape up the edges of the windows for a splash of paint Some time ago now, Sail-World proposed that ISAF had a really good opportunity at hand when it morphed into World Sailing (WS). Why just lay the drop sheets out and tape up the edges of the windows for a splash of paint, when you could bring out the jackhammers and do a proper reno??? A call was issued for 200,000 sets of goggles and earmuffs to be supplied and for the real work to be commenced.
Posted on 11 Apr
Safety at Sea - Baltic - 3NaiadDoyle Sails NZ - Never Look Back