Monday, June 26, 2017

Kiwi yacht owner blames outdated charts for Fiji shipwreck

The yacht has been abandoned to the sea after running aground on a Fijian atoll.
Photo/Ben Dreuvakanabalawa -Fiji Navy

From NZ Herald

The Kiwi owner of a yacht shipwrecked on a reef in Fiji says his nautical charts told him the reef was about 5km away - just before the boat hit it.

Four New Zealanders were on the yacht Jungle when it ran aground on Friday morning, stranding them on a remote atoll.
Geoff Marsland, founder of Wellington's iconic Havana Coffee, and Fidel's Cafe co-owner Roger Young were aboard, with yacht owner Peter McLean and his son.

The yacht left Picton on June 15, bound for Tonga.
The crew changed tack for Fiji when the boat's backstay broke.

 Tuvana-I-Ra on the GeoGarage platform (SHOM chart)

 Tuvana-I-Ra on the GeoGarage platform (UKHO 2691-1 chart)

Tuvana-I-Ra on the GeoGarage platform (Linz chart)

Tuvana-I-Ra on the GeoGarage platform (83580A NGA nautical chart, scale 1:350 000)
note : the shift with positionning
(around 1,75 NM between the nautical map and the satellite imagery) 

Tuvana-I-Ra with Google satellite imagery

Early on Friday it hit the isolated reef off Tuvana-I-Ra, more than 400km from Fiji's capital, Suva.
The men managed to make it ashore but their boat was smashed up on the reef.

Marsland told Fairfax the ordeal was like "Survivor in real life", with the four inhabitants of the island initially thinking the men were armed pirates.
But after they found out the men were Kiwis they were extremely hospitable, cooking up a couple of wild chickens for dinner and providing beds and warm clothes.
In return the Kiwis gave their hosts what they could salvage from the yacht including linen, alcohol and a bicycle, Marsland told Fairfax.

In an interview with the Fiji Sun boat owner Peter McLean said the sailors were navigating the reef at high tide when the accident happened.
"The plotter and the radar both said we were three miles off but the two plotters were incorrect by three miles so we just hit the edge of the reef," he said.
"The charts are outdated, they all need to be updated. It should have been done before now . . . If the charts were correct it never would have happened."

Fiji Navy patrol boat the Kula picked the four men up on Saturday and they arrived in Suva about 8.30 this morning.
All four are now safe and well in Suva, the New Zealand High Commission said.
High Commissioner Mark Ramsden says the men were looked after very well by the Fiji Navy and had not requested consular assistance with accommodation or flights home.

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