Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Floaters

Mystery surrounds tragic loss of solo sailor in Bass Strait

by Sail-World Cruising on 5 Jun 2013
Aspro II location when she hit rocks and sank SW
Mystery surrounds the tragic loss by drowning of a long time and very experienced solo sailor who has been in a constant circumnavigation of Australia for the last 30 years.

Donald Marshall of Queensland seemed unworried to radio operators at Tamar Coastal Patrol after his yacht Aspro II hit rocks when he made a navigational mistake in Bass Strait this week, west of Flinders Island.

He had told them that he was on the eastern side. He also told them that if he could not stem the water entry into the boat that he would step off onto the rocks where his yacht was lodged. He did not intend to leave the boat, but advised that he would set off an EPIRB if he was forced to.

His body was found floating 2km off the island about 1pm yesterday, some ten hours after his last call. It was first sighted by the Tasmanian Police Westpac rescue helicopter.

Tasmanian Police Inspector John King said the veteran sailor's last port of call was believed to have been Stanley.

Insp King said Mr Marshall's yacht had been within metres of shore when it began taking on water but an inflatable tender had not been deployed.

Police are uncertain why he had left the vessel or whether it had been an accident.

'When police first arrived the vessel was only partly submerged. So at some stage Mr Marshall has left the vessel, deliberately or by accident we are unsure,' Insp King said.

He said Mr Marshall had told Tamar Coastal Patrol he would stay with the boat and if he were to leave he would reactivate his radio beacon.

Tamar Coastal Patrol co-ordinator Bryn Warrick said he had spoken to the sailor on and off for a couple of hours after getting a mayday call about 1am. 'I was talking to him on the radio and he would go back up on deck and then come down to talk on the radio,' Mr Warrick said. 'We were talking until about 3am.'

'What he said was that if too much water came in as the tide came in, he would try to go to the rocks,' he said.

The yacht's radio beacon was activated at 1.27am and detected by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Rescue Co-ordination Centre.

Insp King said, 'Mr Marshall believed he was on the eastern side of the Furneaux group when in fact he was on the western side.'

A retired painter and decorator, Mr Marshall, originally from New Zealand, had been sailing the Australian coastline since 1983. 'I love the sea and feel comfortable in my little home,' he told a Geraldton newspaper some time ago.

Jeanneau Sunfast 660x82Zhik AkzoNobelb 660x82Pantaenius - Fixed Value

Related Articles

Line 7 Marine presents Squadron II jacket in time for SCIBS
The Squadron II Jacket is now on shelves and has been designed to keep the wearer on the water for longer. The Squadron II Jacket is now on shelves and has been designed specifically to keep the wearer on the water for longer.
Posted today at 11:41 am
Old4New Van notches up 100,000km and 20,000 lifejackets
Minister for Roads Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey today announced the Old4New life jacket programme Minister for Roads Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey today announced the Old4New life jacket programme had exchanged more than 20,000 old lifejackets for new ones, spreading the ‘wear a lifejacket’ message.
Posted today at 6:07 am
Nineteenth blog from on board Perie Banou II - Panama Canal Transit
Still at Shelter Bay Marina Colon. Atlantic end of the Panama Canal. But not for long. Still at Shelter Bay Marina Colon. Atlantic end of the Panama Canal. But not for long. Shelter Bay is the natural meeting place of lots cruising yachts. Their tall masts and rows and rows of furling headsails. Most American and European. Friendly bunch.
Posted on 17 May
Zip up, step out – Top technical jackets
Zip up, step out – Top technical jackets Zip up, step out – Top technical jackets
Posted on 11 May
Eighteenth blog from on board Perie Banou II - Colon, Panama
Perie Banou is tied to the relatively new Shelter Bay Marina. Colon. Good Marina. With services, some modest. Colon remains, as with previous years, a dangerous city. But it is much cleaner and getting better. Perie Banou II is tied to the relatively new Shelter Bay Marina. Colon. Good Marina. With services, some modest. Balboa is the port for Panama City on the Pacific Ocean. The other end of the Canal. If one looked at a map or chart of all of the Americas and one wanted to cross from the Atlantic to th
Posted on 10 May
Seventeenth blog from on board Perie Banou II - Panama
I am back on the high seas. Left Nanny Cay Marina using engine, motored to Norman Bight, Norman Island, BVI. I am back on the high seas. Left Nanny Cay Marina using engine, motored to Norman Bight, Norman Island, British Virgin Islands. In quiet weather, sailing, motor sailing, or motor boating I can clip the tiller on (quick easy). Then clip the Simrad electronic tiller pilot. Then I steer electronically.
Posted on 4 May
Servicing winches for a longer, more efficient life
A question we get asked often is all about winch servicing and how often should this be done and how hard is it. A question we get asked often is all about winch servicing and how often should this be done and how hard is it. We thought we might try and answer the most common questions and put people’s minds at ease as to how it's done. How often should you service your winches?
Posted on 3 May
ANMM welcomes first European artefact to appear on Australian soil
ANMM is excited to welcome the first European artefact to appear on Australian soil, the Dirk Hartog Plate Just over four hundred years ago Dutch mariner Dirk Hartog (1580–1621) sailed into history when, on 25 October 1616, he made the first documented European landing on the west coast of Australia. And this week the Australian National Maritime Museum is excited to welcome the first European artefact to appear on Australian soil, the Dirk Hartog Plate, to Sydney on special loan
Posted on 3 May
Debbie says the 8thP with Insurance is Patience (Pt.III)
We’re back to keep exploring the nature of TC Debbie and how she came to tell us about the eighth P of insurance We’re back to keep exploring the nature of TC Debbie and how she came to tell us about the eighth P of insurance. We’ve looked at what it was like to come into a disaster zone, seen the evidence of those that did the right thing, and how the area is already on the road to recovery. Now we’ll see why patience is the key in the aftermath of her fury.
Posted on 30 Apr
Sixteenth blog from on board Perie Banou II - en route Panama
Still here, parked day or two, Cane Garden Bay BVI. Wonderful Bay, nice beach restaurants and bars. Still here, parked day or two, Cane Garden Bay BVI. Wonderful Bay, nice beach restaurants and bars. On the main Island Tortola. ‘Road Town’, the capital of British Virgin Islands is on the other side of the Island. To get from Cane Garden to Road Town (by taxi) is over hills. Big hills. With much vegetation.
Posted on 26 Apr