Another sad sea faring story's unfolding off the coast of New Zealand. Paul Van Rensburg left Tauranga (my home town) for Gisborne on March 12--a two-day trip--and went missing shortly later. After three days of searching off the east coast--a search then abandoned--his 12-metre yacht Tafadzwa was found Sunday by an Orion out on training, drifting about 110kms west of the Chatham Islands.
A Chatham fishing boat went out to tow it in, and found his dinghy and kayak securely lashed topsides, everything snug down below, baskets of fruit still hanging in the companion way, and his dog--scared but okay.
As you can see from the photo atop, the reefed mainsail's thrashed, as is the headsail. But even without bad weather, which it appears from everything snug below may not be an overriding factor, sails can deteriorate very quickly when not tended to.
It hasn't been mentioned in reports, but it looks like this is another possible case of a yachtie peeing standing over the side instead of in a can/something (!) in the safety of the cockpit. When at sea, sit to pee ;)
Police are currently scouring his GPS tracks for any clues.
Courtesy of the New Zealand Herald, you can find some good photos and video here.