tippy canoe, two
The Crew (two Men – Owner and friend) were rescued yesterday (Sunday Aug 1) from an overturned Atlantic 57 Catamaran named Anna. The were capsized under main and Jib when hit by a sudden squall while sailing from Tonga to Niue in order to assist with Whale Research on the island. The crew arrived Monday morning to Niue on the Container ship that rescued them after being dispatched by NZ Search and Rescue. Both crew are safe and sound, with little more than some small cuts and many bruises. I spoke to them this afternoon at the Niue Yacht Club about the incident.
They were sailing under main and full jib in about 16 kntots of breeze and had had squalls for the last 24 hours in the area. The squall that hit them didn’t look any different than others and didn’t show up on radar any greater than others had. The wind came up rapidly and with a 90 degree wind shift that caught them off guard and capsized the boat before sheets could be eased. Daggerboards were reportedly lowered as the boat was sailing upwind. The highest wind seen on the instruments was 62kts. The set of their GPS enabled epirb and waited rescue in their dingy which floated free free of the boat upright having been stored on the aft deck for passage. After 12 hours they were rescued by a container ship making its scheduled trip from Tonga to Niue. The owner is originally from Texas, but is currently living in New Mexico.
This is a very interesting case as this is the largest cruising catamaran to be capsized and appears to have done so with relatively non-remarkable conditions. There were no particularly large waves reported (3-4 meter seas were forecast and reported). The Atlantic 57 is designed by Chris White and built in South Africa as well as Newport RI. She is a relatively light weight catamaran with a displacement of about 26,500 lbs, similar in displacement/length as a Gunboat 66 so this is a light cat for cruising in, but no racing cat. Jump in the thread.