13 Sep 2013

Norwegians stuck on Niue after their boat smashed on the reef

5:13 pm on 13 September 2013

Eight Norwegian sailors are stranded on Niue after their 14-metre fibreglass catamaran broke its mooring and smashed into the reef at Alofi.

The Blue Marble is now out of the water but not sailable without extensive repairs.

The Niue police chief Tony Kose told Don Wiseman what happened.

TONY KOSE: At this stage we're still looking at what actually happened, but it was anchored on one of the moorings. The owners left the yacht and not long after that it came apart.

DON WISEMAN: So no-one at all was on board?

TK: No-one was on board, and by the time it was seen to be drifting. And that's when we did notice that no-one was on board as it got close-up to the reef.

DW: Was it wrecked completely?

TK: Not completely, but it had severe damages to it, where it wouldn't be able to sail off from here to another country and get repaired. But it did go to ground. It ended up on the reef. And then the operation took place where it was towed off the reef and now up on dry land.

DW: Now, the eight on it were all Norwegians. Had they come from Norway?

TK: Well, that's where they're originally from, but they've been around the Pacific, sailing to all the pacific countries. I think their last port was Cook Islands, so they were just on their way down to Tonga when that occurred.

DW: So they've been at sea for months and months?

TK: Yeah.

DW: The boat is out of the water. What happens now?

TK: We're waiting for the owners of the yacht to get in contact with their insurance company. They've put a claim in to cover the cost of the operations that took place here in Niue. And they're still deciding on whether they're able to get it off Niue and ship it down to probably New Zealand or Australia and to get it repaired.

DW: How are the norwegians feeling about it all? Are they relaxed?

TK: Well, they're not relaxed at the moment. They're OK now. With the hospitality of the people, they've taken them under their wing. A lot of people have a lot of sorrow for them. They've taken care of them. But it's not any circumstances you want to feel relaxed about. But [when] they've got answers to their claims I think they'll be in a better position to know how they feel.