10 Feb 2012

Commander rejects report he endangered yacht

9:12 am on 10 February 2012

The commander of HMNZS Wellington says a claim he told the Norwegian yacht Berserk to leave a safe harbour in the middle of an Antarctic storm, is untrue.

Three people died when the yacht sank last February, after dropping off adventurer Jarle Andhoey, who was trying to reach the South Pole.

Mr Andhoey is now back in Antarctic waters trying to find traces of the yacht.

A Norwegian news service reports he's questioning why the Berserk left its safe haven.

Lieutenant-Commander Simon Griffiths says he did not give the yacht's crew advice, but simply passed on a weather forecast.

HMNZS Wellington later tried to go to the aid of the Berserk but could not find the yacht.