As I posted in a previous thread under the title with one misspelled word - Gypsy will love again, work is definitely under way to restore the lovely classic that was run down and sunk during the Auckland Anniversary Day regatta. In a few days the website www.gypsy.org.nz will have photos showing the progress which at this time is mostly deconstruction. I was asked what the legal status is regarding the collision that not only sank Gypsy but almost killed one of her crew -Jill Hetherington who suffered near-drowning and a broken pelvis. A quick review: Gypsy was under full sail on starboard tack just after the start of one of the biggest regattas of the year in Auckland harbor. Over 10,000 boats were reported to be on the water in and around the harbor. Winds light, water choppy, sunny and clear. A 65 foot sailboat - Anteaus, with owner and lady friend on board were heading into the harbor and towards the marina under power. It is reported the vessel was moving at 8-10 knots though the owner says it was 6 knots. He hit Gypsy amidships with enough force to sink her immediately. His claim, "I just didn't see her."
In the aftermath, Maritime New Zealand decided not to investigate the collision instead suggesting it be handled by the Port Authorities. The Auckland Port Authorities found the owner of Anteaus had not obvserved the rules and imposed their maximum fine of $200. Many in the marine industry, especially professionally licensed charter boat operators and other yachtsmen were angered that no formal investigation was done by the Maritime authorites. After further consideration, the Maritime New Zealand opened an investigation. This authority can impose large fines and or jail sentences. Their final report has not yet been issued.
Fortunately NZ has something called the accident compensation act, plus public health coverage. So Jill was given excellent care and ongoing therapy. She is about 85 percent recovered. John Pryor (Gypsy's owner) had insured Gypsy and his insurance company agreed to pay out for the actual coverage which is only about 20- 25 percent of the cost of restoring this truly classic yacht. The insurers will, without further action only pay out what it would cost to purchase a similar boat, not what it costs to restore Gypsy which has been estimated at $250,000 to 300,000 including deconstruction, storage etc.In order to recover more than this cost, John would have to go up against Anteaus insurers. He has requested they come to the party and the state of the play as of yesterday when we shared dinner with John is, Anteaus insurers have replied, "We will await the outcome of Maritime New Zealands investigation before proceeding further."
So we all wait for a government department to move along -
Meanwhile as mentioned in the other post, many have offered to help get Gypsy back afloat including providing labor or materials. John has been working almost full time on her along with Robert Brookes a well known boatbuilder. I'll try to post a few photos later this week after Larry and I go over to the mainland and see Gypsy in her new home.