sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Boats for Sale MarineBusiness-World Sail-World Racing Cruising Int Magnetic Is RW Photo Gallery FishingBoating
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

8:47 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

'One of Canada's greatest mysteries has been solved,' said that country's Prime Minister Stephen Harper earlier this month upon news that the wreck of one of two ships famously lost in a mid-19th-century Arctic expedition has likely been located. ... [more]  

British couple help stranded Syrian refugees to safety by BBC News - Sally Taft and Richard Irvine-Brown
In the week that police in Cyprus had to persuade nearly 300 Syrian migrants to disembark from the cruise ship that had rescued them, one couple experienced a migrant rescue first-hand. Stephanie Kershaw-Marsh and husband Andy have spent the summer cruising on their boat around the coast of Turkey and Greece. ... [more]  

Michael Thurston, the owner of the Australian yacht Drina, sent us a message from Nome, Alaska, to inform us that he and his crew had reached the Pacific Ocean thus successfully completing a transit of the Northwest Passage. A late opening of the Bellot Strait allowed Drina to reach the central part of the Northwest Passage only by mid-September. ... [more]  

Minister for Natural Resources, Lands and Water, Kevin Humphries and Minister for Roads and Freight Duncan Gay have announced the successful tender for the dredging of Swansea Channel has been awarded to Neumann Dredging Pty Ltd. ... [more]  

The World ARC fleet departed the Cocos (Keeling) Islands this morning, embarking on the second longest sail of their circumnavigation; a 2350 nautical miles journey to Mauritius. Their stay in the tropical atoll has certainly been one to remember. ... [more]  

Pantaenius, the world’s leading specialist yacht insurance company, has been at the forefront of yacht insurance for more than 40 years, earning a reputation for transparency and commitment to customer service that provides round-the-clock international support and reliable, speedy claims settlement. ... [more]  

Auckland On The Water Boat Show: Images from the final day by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
The Auckland International Boat Show concluded today having enjoyed four days of moderately acceptable weather. Attendance figures have not yet been announced however they are expected to be close to or exceed last year's Show. ... [more]  

World-wide the development of marine wind farms will grow. Britain's RYA is taking a proactive stance that can serve as an example for other yachting bodies. If wind farms could be an issue in your waters, its important to follow just what is happening in GBR. Speaking today Stuart Carruthers, RYA Cruising Manager said 'The RYA will now be responding to those of the Panel’s questions that have bee ... [more]  

How to make a distance scale for faster navigation by Captain John Jamieson, Florida
If you are anything like me, sailing navigation can be a challenge when short- or single-handed sailing. But you still need to be able to plot fast and accurate positions for sailing safety. Here one little-known sailing tip used by the pros that will help you do just that! ... [more]  

A new provisional World Record was set on the Viaduct Harbour today with 52 paddlers covering the 100 metre course on the Lancer SUP. There were no incidents in the attempt - which sets a new mark category in the Guinness World Records. ... [more]  

Marine Rescue Forster-Tuncurry has been named a winner in the 2014 NSW Water Safety Awards, taking out the prize for the Water Safety Event of the Year. The Award, presented tonight, is for the unit’s successful Water Expo, staged in January at the peak of the summer holiday and boating season. The award was accepted by Deputy Unit Commander Ray Mazurek. ... [more]  

Marine Rescue NSW volunteers have been recognised for their enormous contribution to safety on the water, with the rescue service taking out a prestigious title at the 2014 NSW Water Safety Awards. MRNSW won the Most Outstanding Contribution to Water Safety by an Organisation category at the annual awards, presented tonight. ... [more]  

The 14th edition of the Atlas also includes a new double page map of the Arctic Ocean, which highlights the dramatic long-term decline of Arctic sea ice cover. The sub-ice maps draw on bedrock data, provided by the British Antarctic Survey, to show physical features which are obscured by ice cover. ... [more]  

An attempt will be made on Saturday afternoon set set a new Guinness World Record mark for the most people on a Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) The SUP used for the record attempt will be supplied by leading New Zealand inflatable manufacturer, Lancer Industries, and the SUP uses Lancer's AirDock technology.. ... [more]  

Rescue vessel Point Danger 30 from Marine Rescue Point Danger base, went to the aid of a yacht with mechanical and sail failure shortly before 10 o’clock this morning. The yacht, with three people on board had been experiencing strong winds east of Cook Island off the coast of Northern NSW and was forced to seek help when its engine failed and mainsail blew out. ... [more]  

A win for sharks by Nathaniel Pelle
Earlier this year, thousands of Australians, including you, united to stop this brutal and unnecessary practice. I’ve never seen anything quite like it - protesters gathered on beaches from Manly to Margaret River and flooded Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s inbox with nearly a quarter of a million emails calling on him to stop the cull. ... [more]  

Sail-World did a quick tour of the on the water exhibits at the Auckland On The Water Boat Show. Her's a quick selection of some of the almost 200 boats on the water in the Viaduct Harbour. ... [more]  

The Auckland On The Water Boat Show opened this morning in brilliant Spring sunshine. Based on the Viaduct Harbour, Auckland, there are nearly 200 exhibiting companies and over 200 boats are at the event which runs through to Sunday September 28. ... [more]  

On Monday 22 September the EU Naval Force flagship, ITS Andrea Doria, met the Chinese Navy ship, CNS Changbaishan, in the Gulf of Aden. ... [more]  

RBT only applies when vessel is underway by Boating Industry Association
Following some reports RBT testing was occurring whilst at anchor, Michael Drake Principal Manager Boating Safety, Maritime Management Centre, Transport for NSW, has confirmed with RMS legal team that 'RBT only applies when a vessel is underway (i.e. not at anchor, moored or berthed at a wharf or marina)'. ... [more]  

Iridium have recently released the Iridium GO!, their latest product in the satellite communication market. It’s portable, battery powered, and creates a WiFi hotspot. www.predictwind.com!PredictWind!new have partnered with Iridium to put together a package catering specifically to the marine market. ... [more]  

In the early morning of Friday 19 September, EU Naval Force frigate, ESPS Navarra, came to the aid of a stricken yacht in the Gulf of Aden. The yacht had been detected on the warship’s radar in the early morning. ESPS Navarra’s Bridge team initially tried to hail the yacht via their VHF radio. ... [more]  

The Canberra Yacht Club is looking for a Dinghy Sailing Instructor/Coach in its very busy Sailing School. The CYC Sailing School is the fourth largest centre in Australia training over 1,000 kids and adults from Opti learn to sail to HP coaching. ... [more]  

Making its debut at the Gold Coast International Marine Expo, the BRIG Navigator 700 is 7-metres of versatility and durability, with room for 11 people in comfort – 12 in the twin engine version. ... [more]  

Lost your rudder at sea? Michael Keyworth perfected a way to steer using drogues. To engineer this solution, he removed the rudder from his own boat(!), and experimented with different method, and has summarized his technique in this terrific article. ... [more]  

The operator of a Portsmouth-based barge has today been made to pay almost £111,000 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to a breach of maritime legislation. Serco Ltd admitted an offence at Portsmouth Crown Court in relation to the health and safety of workers aboard the barge 1706, which is operated as part of a service contract with the Ministry of Defence. ... [more]  

You scratched my seagrass! by Steven Katona, Newport, RI
Sailors for the Sea publishes monthly articles that translate the language of marine science into fascinating articles about ocean health. ... [more]  

Following a relatively short stopover in Christmas Island, eleven of the World ARC fleet have now arrived in their next paradise, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. From first settlement in 1826 by English merchant Alexander Hare, through decades of administration by the Clunies-Ross dynasty, most island inhabitants had little freedom or contact with the outside world. ... [more]  

This might be the Texting and Facebook generation but boaters need to use VHF radio says volunteer rescuers from Weston-super-Mare's lifeboat station who rescued a yachtsman whose boat sank in the middle of the Bristol Channel and who then texted his girlfriend. ... [more]  

Earlier this year two men died in their bunks of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by the highly toxic fumes given off from a poorly maintained butane gas cooker. The cooker which was located in the wheelhouse had been lit to heat the wheelhouse and sleeping area. A carbon monoxide alarm was not fitted. ... [more]  

The Arctic is an ocean surrounded by land and Arctic sea ice is the thin layer of frozen ocean water that forms and grows during the winter, and melts in the summer. Dr Jeremy Wilkinson from the British Antarctic Survey provides a scientist’s perspective on the trend for decreasing Arctic sea ice. ... [more]  

Eight students from grades four through six took part in the Hamilton Island State School sailing and leadership programme this year, taking place every Friday during terms two and three. Students participating not only learned the rigours of theoretical and practical sailing skills, but also life skills. ... [more]  

The Virgin Islands are an archipelago. That part, which is a British overseas territory, is commonly referred to as the BVI. About 30,000 people live in the BVI, most of which live on the island of Tortola. The BVI are comprised of about 50 islands the majority of which are not inhabited by humans. ... [more]  

Abell Point Marina – New berth + video
Dangerous conditions forecast for NSW boaters
The Galley Guys take on the Vancouver International Boat Show
Are you ready to enter that marina?
African nations unite for lifesaving training
New Zealand boating industry showing strong growth
World ARC fleet moored at Christmas Island
Blue Planet Odyssey welcomed to Bora Bora
Volvo Ocean Race: Win a stopover trip by designing an ECsix T-Shirt
New Zealand's largest on water boat show kicks off next Thursday
Where the audience is matters a lot for advertisers
Remember to properly dispose of obsolete distress beacons
Blue Planet Odyssey - Aventura makes landfall in the US
World ARC fleet bids farewell to Bali
Superior prepares for Monaco Yacht Show debut *Feature
Impressive new catamaran set to power onto world stage
Antarctic Team discovers mechanism for massive ice shelf collapse
Baltic 4 Nations - Next edition sets sail July 2015
Yachts prepare for second Atlantic Odyssey, departing this November
Thai drama with Phuket yacht clampdown
Airlie Beach Music Festival 7th – 9th November 2014   
P&O and Princess Cruise Ships to continue operating into Abell Point   
Sailing Rallies launch two new events at PSP Southampton Boat Show   
Multihull Central: Record sales, Outremer blog, Regattas and much more   
World ARC crews in Bali   
Could your sailing navigation use a tune-up?   
Images of marine sunsets by Tripadvisor   
4th Multihull Solutions Whitsunday Rendezvous an outstanding success   
Citizen science model proposed to fill fundamental ocean data gap   
Evans Head volunteers rescue charter boat in dawn operation   
Ocean Cruising Club celebrates 60th Anniversary with record gatherings   
Shedding light on the life of former lighthouse keepers + Video   
Southport Yacht Club celebrates opening of 68th season *Feature   
Marine Auctions adds new recruits   
2014 Auckland on Water Boat Show: Coming up at the end of September   
The Boat Cookbook   
Indian Ocean-wide tsunami exercise to test readiness   
Blue Planet Odyssey - Aventura makes landfall at St John’s   
Round the World racer joins Southern Pacific Inflatables   
New exhibition explores role of Royal Australian Navy in WWI   


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 WAS Cru SH
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT