Shocking findings of stricken yacht Platino

Emma Russell, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thursday, 26 July 2018, 11:25AM
The Southern Lily container ship that came to rescue crew members of stricken yacht Platino. Photo / NZDF
The Southern Lily container ship that came to rescue crew members of stricken yacht Platino. Photo / NZDF

A Maritime New Zealand report has revealed no help was given to the crew member who drowned after being knocked overboard from stricken yacht Platino.

Steve Forno was one of two men who died when their yacht struck four-metre waves in the ocean north of New Zealand two years ago.

Nick Saull was killed on board when hit by rigging on the yacht's boom. Forno was thrown overboard and never found.

The three other crew, Tory and Harry McKeogh and Ross McKee, were rescued by a container ship and survived.

The report has found that the crew had not trained together for emergencies on board the yacht, and was not sufficiently familiar with its equipment.

"The owners took very few steps to ensure the crew members were properly prepared for any emergency situation.

"They assumed that the crew all possessed the required expertise to effectively use the equipment onboard and respond to an emergency," the report said.

The report also said the crew were not able to intentionally manoeuvre the yacht back to the crew member in the water to affect a rescue.

"Despite this, it appears possible that actions could have been taken which may have significantly increased the chance of the crew member lost overboard being rescued," the report said.

In response to the report, Maritime NZ is making changes to safety requirements for recreational vessels leaving New Zealand ports for overseas, and for other recreational vessels in New Zealand waters.

Maritime NZ Director, Keith Manch, said work is already under way with Yachting NZ to change Yachting NZ's Safety Regulations of Sailing that are used for safety inspections of all recreational vessels – sailing or powered – bound for overseas.

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