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Rescued man learns boat’s dark secrets

Friday November 03, 2017 Written by Published in Local
The Zangano sold on Trade Me earlier this year with an asking price of $25,000. The uninsured vessel was abandoned at sea this week, leaving its new New Zealand-based owner out of pocket, and also learning of its dubious past. Pictured at Avatiu wharf with its seafaring equipment, following its arrival in late August 2016, missing a female crew member. 17020918 The Zangano sold on Trade Me earlier this year with an asking price of $25,000. The uninsured vessel was abandoned at sea this week, leaving its new New Zealand-based owner out of pocket, and also learning of its dubious past. Pictured at Avatiu wharf with its seafaring equipment, following its arrival in late August 2016, missing a female crew member. 17020918

A minor disagreement saved Shane Fredericks’ girlfriend from being involved in a nautical disaster, following his recent police rescue from doomed yacht Zangano, in rough seas 390 nautical miles from Rarotonga.

 

He says his girlfriend, who he identified simply as “Marie”, had travelled to Rarotonga to join him on the voyage, but they had an argument over the boat.

“She didn’t want to go, and I didn’t want her to come.”

They made up before she flew back to New Zealand and is now happy to know that Fredericks is safely back on solid ground.

Following his rescue, crew of patrol boat Te Kukupa opened the yachts plug's and outlets to allow seawater in before leaving the area.

The boat has had a dark cloud hanging over it, ever since the vessel arrived in Rarotonga last year minus crew member Lissette Brito, now presumed dead.

The subsequent sinking of the vessel ends its very turbulent past.

Fredericks says he was totally oblivious to the yacht’s history. He says all he knew about it was that somebody had tried to sink it at some stage, and it was some sort of “insurance job”. On his return trip to Rarotonga on the police patrol boat Te Kukupa, the crew filled him in on the Zangano’s past.

Fredericks purchased the vessel from local businessman Keith Christian after being lured by a picture-perfect shot of the yacht in an advertisement on Trade Me in New Zealand. The boat came with a price tag of $25,000 - not a bad return on investment for Christian, who bought the Zangano from its previous dubious owner, Alexander MacKinnon Roehrs, for the price of his departing airline ticket.

Fredericks says he purchased the yacht under the proviso that it stayed here, but following issues with a crane breaking down, the vessel was unable to be lifted out of the water.

 “I wanted to keep it here for a year or two, and work on it as a project, but because it couldn’t be lifted onto dry dock I was in the predicament that it had to go.

“It was completely against what I wanted to do, as I wanted the boat to stay in Rarotonga.”

According to the Ministry of Transport, private vessels are not required to have seaworthiness certification before leaving Cook Islands ports.

Fredericks says he regrets having been too busy to get around to insuring the vessel, but adds he is grateful he had safeguarded himself with the tracker and homing device that saved him.

Now several thousands of dollars out of pocket he just wants to get home, “ASAP” he says.

“There are a lot of people back home worried about me and waiting for me to return. I was supposed to be back at work on Monday. And a two-week break has now turned into three,” he says. However, he says he is very lucky to be alive and is very grateful for the police rescue.

Fredericks says he is a relatively experienced sailor having come from a “maritime” family. He owns a 12 metre yacht based in Whangarei, as well as a 4.5metre Cougar catamaran at home in Auckland.

“I thought the Zangano seemed to be an easy-sailing yacht to skipper and because it was the start of storm season I had to get the boat down (to New Zealand). I didn’t have a choice to leave it here.”

A police spokesperson says the cost of the rescue mission are estimated at around $35,000 for fuel and personnel alone. It is the second rescue performed by Te Kukupa since June this year, when the police maritime unit transported a pregnant woman from Nassau to Rarotonga for the the Department of Health.-