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Venezuela: New Zealand Yacht Lost on Reef

By Sue Richards last modified Mar 08, 2012 11:29 AM

Published: 2012-03-08 11:29:31
Topics: Safety and Medical
Countries: Curacao , New Zealand , Venezuela

As reported by and

A New Zealand owned yacht, Chinook Wind, a 37ft Tayana, has been wrecked on a reef about 100 nautical miles from Bonaire in the ABC Islands of the Caribbean, off the coast of Venezuela.

The incident occurred at about 1.00am on 28 February, but the boat owners, Dick and Ann Oliver were unable to contact anyone until the morning SSB sched. They were also unable to launch their inflatable dinghy or liferaft because of the coral reef.

They were then rescued by the Venezuelan Coastguard at approximately 10.30am. The couple had to swim off the reef during the rescue and were unable to take anything with them.

Both are safe and well, if shocked, but the yacht is unsalvageable. They were sailing in company with other yachts, but all were outside VHF range at the time of the incident.

Dick and Ann Oliver had spent the last two years sailing around the world and were making their way home to New Zealand when tragedy struck.

The Olivers left Prickly Bay, Grenada on Saturday 25 February, bound for Cartegena in Colombia. The Venezuelan and Colombian coastline waters are known to be hazardous. On Monday night they hit Ave de Barlovento, the easternmost of the uninhabited Venezuelan island group of Las Aves (Islands of the Birds).

The pair were experienced yachties, having already completed two Atlantic crossings on the same yacht.