sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Australia Cruising USA Cruising Canada Boats for Sale Sail-World Racing Photo Gallery FishingBoating
Video Gallery Newsletters
Sail-World.com : Dark mysteries unfold from ghost sailing boat in South Pacific
Dark mysteries unfold from ghost sailing boat in South Pacific


'Bonny as she is today'    .

Most of us take for granted that the boat crew just arrived in the marina berth next to us will be like most cruising sailors - keen on sailing, gregarious, pretty honest, down-to-earth and practical as most sailors are. So it's always a slight shock to learn that the darkest of secrets could be swirling in the bilge in a boat we know. Read this story of a boat found drifting in the South Pacific:

Story from boat's new owner:
Local Cook Islander, expat New Zealander Keith Christian, bought a 36-ft sloop, Bonny, earlier this year from Cook Islands police, who had impounded the vessel after the disappearance of its skipper, fellow New Zealander David Peppiatt.

Christian, who runs a boat charter business in Rarotonga, paid $2000 for the yacht so he could use it for parts. He doesn't hold back when describing the boat's ugliness: 'She's a pig.'

What he didn't know when he purchased the boat is that Bonny lies at the centre of one of the Cook Islands' great mysteries.

The boat was sailed into Avatiu Harbour in January last year by Peppiatt, 62, who, unbeknown to the locals, was due to stand trial the following month on charges dating back to 1998.

Peppiatt had changed his name by deed poll to Gavin Maitland, and it was that name he gave to authorities in Rarotonga when he arrived without a passport complaining of heart problems.

Peppiatt went to the hospital for medical treatment before sailing off again. He returned a couple of days later for a mysterious rendezvous, before once again sailing away.

Next he made a mayday call saying he was having trouble breathing. When authorities rushed to the position he gave, they found Bonny, drifting and abandoned, about 20 nautical miles off Rarotonga, there was no sign of life. According to police reports the sails were furled and the boat in good order.

But Christian, who now owns the boat and has studied it, says it makes no sense that Peppiatt could have fallen into the sea. There was netting all around the guard rails, and the yacht's radio was down several sets of stairs.

'If you're down there saying 'mayday, mayday, I'm having a heart attack' at 4 o'clock in the morning on a dead calm day, how do you get from your radio up onto the deck and fall overboard? There was no-one to push him over. Someone must have come and picked him up in another boat.'

Some witnesses described seeing a second person on board the boat when it sailed into Avatiu Harbour.

Fisheries Officer:
Fisheries officer Andrew Jones, an another expat Kiwi also has a strange tale. He told one news outlet that he saw the yacht sailed around in circles, never coming close to the wharf, and Peppiatt yelled out if anyone had a cellphone.

'I could see into the cabin area and I saw another guy stick his head out the door, and pull it back in when he saw me. It was super suspicious.'

Jones said Peppiatt asked to speak to a taxi driver who had taken him to the hospital two days earlier. When the woman taxi driver arrived at the wharf he threw her a piece of paper weighted by some nuts and bolts, with writing on it.

'He said 'ring that number in New Zealand at six o'clock, and tell them I'm not heading east, I'm gonna head back to New Zealand'. She said 'OK Dave', and he yelled 'no don't tell them it's Dave, say Gavin'.'

Jones said he believed the phone call was a signal for a second vessel to come to pick up Peppiatt and his passenger.

And he thinks the mayday call was made from the opposite side of the island when Peppiatt was already on the other vessel, to confuse authorities. Jones said he reported the story to police, but they did not seem to take it seriously.

Jones said customs and immigration staff should have detained Peppiatt when he first arrived while they made inquiries in New Zealand.

Harbourmaster:
Harbourmaster Saungaki Rasmussen, who was working as a maritime police officer at the time of Bonny's arrival, said he discovered there was a USB stick in the package that Peppiatt threw ashore to the taxi driver, with instructions to send it to New Zealand.

Rasmussen said he alerted his police bosses, but no effort was made to intercept the package.

'My gut feeling says he faked it, he's still alive.'

Meanwhile, Christian has been discovering surprises on the boat. There were 65 bottles of methylated spirits, containers of acid, thousands of pills and a small pill press - none of which apparently aroused the suspicion of police.

At the top of the mast he found a small bronze statue containing a mysterious white powder, which he gave to authorities.

Within a couple of hours of buying the boat, he received emails from Australia and New Zealand from people wanting things on board, including a guitar, a statue and a heater.

'I smashed the guitar open thinking it would be full of drugs, but found nothing.

'Someone else rang up from Tauranga wanting the heater out of it. Why would you want a heater out of a boat in Rarotonga?'

Christian said everything on board Bonny, including the electronics and sails, was brand new, and there was enough food on board for a year.

There was also $9000 on board, but, in another bizarre twist, that was stolen by a police officer, who was later convicted of theft and sentenced to probation and community work.

Police:
Inspector John Strickland of Cook Islands police defended the handling of the investigation. He said all leads had been followed up, including the suggestion a second person was on board and that a second vessel might have been involved, but inquiries had come to nothing.

'We looked at all avenues as best we could, we had Interpol involvement, New Zealand police. We have no evidence to substantiate the fact that this person is alive or dead.'

He said he did not know about Christian's claims that there was drug-making equipment on board. He added that police would be happy to investigate any new information that came to light.

'The law is very clear, the person is declared dead after seven years . . . so the matter is still open at this time.'

But Christian admits he is intrigued by Bonny, known previously in New Zealand as Sojourn, and firmly believes the boat holds more secrets.

'There's something strange about that boat, I want to pull it apart - there's something else on there.'

But what happened to David Peppiatt, aka Gavin Maitland, still remains a mystery almost two years later.


by Des Ryan/Sail-World Cruising round-up

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=115511

7:47 PM Mon 7 Oct 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







Sail-World Cruising News - local and the World

The world’s largest sailing media group, Sail-World.com, held its first continental group meeting at the Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) this week. METS is the world’s largest B2B Marine show and this year it had a record 1358 exhibitors and more than 21,000 Marine industry representatives. ... [more]  

Clear the Decks! by Paul Shard, Bahamas
Twenty-five years ago when Sheryl and I were building and outfitting our first boat, 'Two-Step', a Classic 37, we tried to imagine sailing her in a storm. We did a lot of research about storm tactics and as a result we designed the deck layout so we could handle most tasks from the cockpit and bought heavy weather sails. ... [more]  

On Monday 17 November, an impressive line-up of speakers at 13th International Sailing Summit shared ideas and best practice from around the world, demonstrating how the sailing industry can change to increase and retain participation, through innovation, technology and cultural changes. British Cycling has seen its membership grow by 567% since 2005. ... [more]  

Extinction risk not the answer for reef futures by ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies
Coral and reef fishes are not like pandas and tigers, and the extinction risks they face are much lower. Leading coral reef scientists in Australia and the USA say there needs to be a new approach to protecting the future of marine ecosystems, with a shift away from the current focus on extinction threat. ... [more]  

ARC+ fleet sets sail for Saint Lucia by World Cruising Club
The ARC+ fleet got underway in good conditions on November 19th as they set out on Leg 2 of the ARC+ from São Vicente in the Cape Verde Islands to Saint Lucia. Conditions at the start were excellent with a NE wind of around 10 knots blowing across the start line. ... [more]  

Sail safer with these 'landfall light' secrets by Captain John Jamieson, Florida
Imagine sailing toward the coast, with landfall just over the horizon. Your GPS signal has been weak and unreliable. You strain your eyes to pick up the light that marks the entrance to the safe harbor ahead. What three sea-tested sailing tips can you use to keep your small sailboat and your sailing crew in safe water? ... [more]  

The Mediterranean Sea is a destination area that many people aspire to visit. ‘The Med’ as it is often known touches the coastlines of a number of countries and is an attractive area for holidaymakers due to the wonderful climate and welcoming people. Sailing The Med is a dream for many boating enthusiasts and the waters hold many exciting adventures. ... [more]  

Garmin Ltd has announced a new line of scanning transducers designed to accommodate any calibre of mariner, from the casual cruiser to the professional angler. Supporting both the newest lines of Garmin echoMAP and GPSMAP chartplotters and multifunction displays (MFD), this full array of thru-hull and transom-mounted transducers are a valuable addition to any vessel. ... [more]  

Rhode Island is the second most densely populated stateun the USA , and its 420 miles of coastline are crowded with homes and businesses, residents and tourists. The increasing rate of erosion and sea level rise, and the effects of coastal storms and flooding, are making the state’s coastal landscape ever smaller. ... [more]  

The Marion-Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race, Inc. and event host the Harraseeket Yacht Club announce a cruising yacht rally from Maine to Marion in advance of the 2015 Marion-Bermuda race. Called the M2M2B, the rally will be an enjoyable and convenient way for Maine-based yacht skippers to sail from Maine to Marion, MA as they stage their boats for the 2015 Marion-Bermuda race. ... [more]  

Spinnakers and Parasails flying, the 34 Atlantic Odyssey yachts crossed the start line off Arrecife bound for Martinique some 2700 miles away. Although Sephina, an Australian Lagoon 400, crossed the line first, she was a little ahead of time, so the first boat in fact to cross the start line correctly after the 12 noon starting gun was Gazel Rebel from France, a Pogo 850. ... [more]  

The last arrival of the World ARC fleet into Richard’s Bay marked the achievement of the 21 yachts crossing the Indian Ocean! A challenging crossing, particularly for the last half of arrivals included key equipment failures. 'Everything looked fine until Roger noticed a crack in the boom. We had broken the boom!' – Free & BrEasy ... [more]  

Doyle Sails New Zealand will once again be exhibiting in the Superyacht Pavilion at the upcoming Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS), running from 19-20 November in Amsterdam. Our stand will be in its usual spot in the main hall - stand 10.715 - and we look forward to welcoming you to the show. ... [more]  

ARC 2014 Opening Ceremony - With one week to go before the ARC 2014 fleet leave Las Palmas de Gran Canaria for Rodney Bay in Saint Lucia, crews from across the world marched and danced behind their national flags in a stirring parade around Las Palmas Marina. ... [more]  

Although he is the oldest Skipper in ARC 2014, Manfred Kerstan from Berlin certainly doesn’t show it and is all set to enjoy his 20th ARC to its fullest. Over the years, Manfred has embraced the real spirit of the ARC, and is a stalwart presence at social functions and seminars, talking to participants old and new about all aspects of the rally. ... [more]  

Whilst waiting for the ARC+ fleet to arrive at their mid-Atlantic stop of Mindelo, on Cape Verdean island of São Vicente, you easily realise the excitement which is bubbling around the Marina, in the government offices and in bars and restaurants. ... [more]  

Nothing ever bad happens in the rally, right? If you read the daily news stories over the years, you’d certainly think so. But despite what I sometimes think of as the ‘propaganda’ that we post in the news and features during the 1500 (and I’m myself responsible for producing it), I feel we ought to focus at least occasionally on some of the more unfortunate realities of ocean sailing. ... [more]  

Expressing continued grave concern over piracy off the coast of Somalia despite a sharp decline in attacks, the Security Council has renewed for another year authorizations, first agreed in 2008, for international action to fight the crime in cooperation with Government authorities. ... [more]  

During the last two weeks we have received the details of the boats for the provisional entry list in the World Odyssey Race (see list below). Unfortunately we were forced to recognise that too many of those who have expressed an interest in sailing in the World Odyssey Race would do so on yachts which may not be suitable for the rigours of a circumnavigation in high latitudes. ... [more]  

Falcon, the 80’ Cookson, did the expected and beat the rest of the fleet to the BVI. The ex-America’s Cup training vessel, now a tricked out cruising yacht, sailed the course in just over seven days, arriving Monday night around 9pm. 'We had the perfect passage,' said the yacht’s owner Cary St. Onge. ... [more]  

With 75% of the ARC fleet now in Las Palmas, the docks of the Muelle Deportivo are populated with boats of all shapes and sizes, from multiple manufacturers and sailing under the flags of 22 different nations. The range of boats is as ecclectic as the crews on board with examples of almost every kind of ocean cruising boat available represented amongst the ARC 2014 fleet. ... [more]  

The notice of race has been released for the Antigua 2 Falmouth 2015 event, run by Sailing Rallies. Due to demand from boats at the end of the Caribbean sailing season wishing to return to the UK, this new event has been launched to give sailors a suitable high quality event. ... [more]  

Oceans of Hope, with a working crew of people with multiple sclerosis (MS), has arrived in New York City, USA, on the latest leg of the 33,000-nautical mile global voyage. During the six-day stopover Oceans of Hope will be berthed at North Cove Marina, in lower Manhattan and people with MS will be invited to take part in two days of sailing on the 14th and 15th of November. ... [more]  

Spirit of Tradition by Terri Hodgson
The prospective new owner of the old Bluenose 24 had two objectives to satisfy in the hunt for his new yacht: the boat had to be beautiful and classic AND it would serve as an ornamental anchor in front of his Muskoka cottage. Stuart Cotrelle came to Gordon Laco, a friend, sailor and supplier of finer boat hardware and accessories, with performance specifications of the yacht he wanted to buy ... [more]  

A rare 'Medicane', a hybrid storm with characteristics of both a tropical storm and an extratropical storm, formed over the South Central Mediterranean Sea on Friday and moved over the island of Malta, bringing them tropical storm-like conditions. ... [more]  

'Lighter than we expected' was the comment on the winds today for leg one of the ARC+ Cape Verde route. This has been in complete contrast to the first 24 hours which, as usual was lively as boats headed passed the Canary Islands wind acceleration zone. ... [more]  

I didn’t talk to my husband for two days when his peculiar answers to my naïve nautical questions reached my bewildered ears. Back then, as a mere fledgling to sailing, my raw researching met brutal honesty. Seeking a sailboat and home, to travel the planet, I tried to grasp the financials and what, exactly, was I letting myself in for. ... [more]  

Following yesterday’s departure of the ARC+ fleet, the ARC schedule continues today in Las Palmas, with a busy day of check ins and plenty of crews visiting the ARC Office and Shop in the marina. The first ARC Sundowner takes place this evening at Federacion de Vela from 18:30 and promises to be a lively evening as many crews come together for the first time. ... [more]  

Thanks to a late start and slow progress at sea in the Caribbean 1500, the Yellowshirt team here in Nanny Cay has had time to explore Tortola more than usual. Prior to our hike up the gut yesterday, Mia and I had an opportunity to take a taxi into Road Town for a walk around and a visit to the smoothie guy. ... [more]  

Crystal Blues had health issues, with 'something' around the propeller. So after a few days of rest and recuperation in Penang, I dived on the propeller and removed an indecent chunk of rope. What a pain - visibility in the marina was less than 12 inches, and cutting it away was a slow process. I'm still amazed that we managed to maneuver the boat into the berth with this around the propeller. ... [more]  

The second edition ARC+ Cape Verde set sail from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on Sunday 9 November, bound for Mindelo in the Cape Verde Islands. A brisk northerly wind provided near perfect sailing, with just a one metre swell making it a little rock and roll for some. The 51 boat fleet are set to enjoy some textbook tradewind sailing for the first part of their Atlantic crossing. ... [more]  

South of Satellite Channel and the southern tip of Salt Spring Island, the protected waters and spectacular vistas of BC’s southernmost inlet cuts 12 miles into Vancouver Island. Saanich Inlet’s fjord-like waters reach as far south as Goldstream Provincial Park at the picturesque estuary of the Goldstream River. ... [more]  

Safety and enjoyment were the order of the day in Marina Lanzarote as the first safety inspections were carried out on Freedom and Serenity on Thursday 6 November. The detailed safety inspections each yacht receives are an important aspect of the Atlantic Odyssey rally, and an opportunity for sailors to raise any concerns. ... [more]  

First ARC Bahamas boats make landfall in the Caribbean
First arrivals of World ARC fleet enter Richard’s Bay, South Africa
No room for complacency in Gulf of Guinea
250 kilos of cocaine seized from UK-bound yacht in joint operation
North American Rally to Caribbean - Greater than the sum of its parts
New Rayglass ProJet on duty at Auckland Airport
Caribbean 1500 fleet are getting their sea legs
The reliability of C-Map electronic charts in the Arctic
Know your charts and sail clear of deadly rocks and reefs!
ARC+ Seminars Programme commences
Ride of a Lifetime: PWC Adventure on the Ottawa River Waterway
World ARC - Sailing south of Madagascar to Richard's Bay, South Africa
25th Caribbean 1500 heads to sea
29th Atlantic Rally for Cruisers ready to set sail
New study finds oceans arrived early to earth
World Cruising Club’s second ARC+ event off to a great
Caribbean 1500 - More German Bier and the start of the Seminar Program
A light on the horizon
Could this be the knot that never fails?
Clock running on countdown to the 25th Caribbean 1500
San Juan Island, an engaging destination   
Cowes breakwater construction programme - Phase completion imminent   
Where is the Deepwater Horizon oil?   
OceansWatch hard at work in the Solomon Islands   
Do you have the proper fire extinguisher onboard?   
This low cost 'line saver' could save your yacht!   
The Christmas Caribbean Rally is on its way!   
Coral-Current Connections   
Caribbean 1500 - German Bier, trick-or-treat and safety checks   
Oceans of Hope - A Sailing Sclerosis Project   
The very useful skill of buoy hopping   
A warm welcome to La Réunion for the World ARC fleet   
Good Samaritans rescue woman who drove car off boat ramp   
Can you hear me? Mobile phone vs. VHF radio   
World ARC fleet explores Mauritius   
METS names DAME Award nominees   
German sailors freed by Philippine militants   
Grand opening for new Marina Lanzarote   
Cold water boating hazards   
New Yachtsman’s Guide to Southampton Water   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph, contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW CRU NH
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT