Saturday, March 5, 2011

Berserk and the "News"

Mild Icing, Berserk faced severe Icing..
Warning serious "RANT" follows... see Berserk...lost in the ross sea? for some background information.

It is interesting how quickly the "News" jump on any accident involving adventurers and like to quickly apportion blame, all the I told you so's come out and say it was irresponsible, dangerous, etc even before any proper analysis of the accident has been done. This certainly seems to be the case in the loss of "Berserk".

The "News" reports an experienced seafarer seeing the boat in Auckland and saying the boat was seaworthy but badly overloaded and the "News" then implies that this made her unsafe. But she successfully managed to sail down to the ice edge and then unloaded her unseaworthy cargo... when the accident happened she would not have been overloaded.

The "News" also reports that it was too late in the season when infact it is the only time of the year a yacht can get in, A quick look at the  National Ice Centre Charts  for the Ross sea will confirm this...

Apparently the weather was extreme, the worst in 20 years or so at the bases, and the worst ever seen by the Captain of the Ice class NZ warship HMNZS Wellington, which was damaged by the weather. Had it not been for this unusual extreme weather the vessel (in my opinion) most likely would have got home safely.

I note that the crew of Berserk only triggered their EPIRB (or it may have automatically triggered?) when the situation was truly life threatening. Unlike other sailors that have triggered expensive rescues due to non-life threatening things like a broken mast...

The problem with all this negativity is that underlying it is a push for more regulations, yet more ways to stop people being responsible for their own lives. It is a subtle yet pervasive, And effects an entire society's outlook on life.

There are many vested interests that would like to see Antarctica locked away for science and tourism, No doubt these same vested interests will be the loudest critics of any small low budget expedition like Jarle's... And once they have stopped the more extreme trips like Jarle's the Bureaucrats may well start on the smaller stuff - like - is it really safe to sail across the Atlantic in that little boat? 

These are some of my thoughts at the moment given the limited information I have. Hopefully in time a better picture of the voyage may come out so that we can all learn from it. Until then lets not jump to any conclusions... For futher reading look at the Sea shepherd news They were involved in the search, and have have accurate information about the conditions.

I would be interested in your thoughts....

1 comment:

  1. Just found Nicks Blog at, He has a good post on Berserk that reassures me that some people still have the "Human Spirit" in them. the comments are interesting as well... Thanks Nick and all the comment writers.

    A great Quote from Nick

    "Jarle Andhøy and his merry pirates are a bastion of light in a world full of tedious and heavily sponsored expeditioning, ’cause’ adventures, and everything else that comes along with it… These guys were the real deal, and I think every one of us feels a tinge of envy when we see their lives of madness and freedom"
    Nick Jaffe at