Multiple sea accidents on Pitcairn
ANGWIN, CALIF, USA ------- Multiple sea accidents at Pitcairn
Island in the South Pacific Ocean have seen one severely injured
islander evacuated to Papeete, Tahiti, major damage to one of the
islands longboats, minor injury to another islander, and loss
of precious supplies for the island. The hospital at Papeete is
some 1,200 miles from Pitcairn.
According to a report to the Pitcairn Islands Study Center, here,
on Sunday, December 5, as Pitcairners were ferrying supplies from
the supply ship Gambler to the landing at Bounty Bay the
heavily loaded longboat OLeary foundered in heavy seas
on rocks guarding the small inlet on which the landing is located.
heavily damaged Pitcairn longboat OLeary, having
been pulled from rocks into which she crashed in heavy seas,
is hauled onto the slipway at the islands boatsheds, her
rudder completely gone, and large holes punched in her hull
by the force of the crash.
[More photos of O'Leary
Filled with drums of diesel fuel, timber and an assortment of supplies,
the boat struck the rocks violently. The four island crew members
dove overboard to avoid injury and were not injured. The vessel
was bashed by huge waves, its engine shattered, with two large holes
in its hull. Drums of fuel and timber were washed overboard, floating
away, but unable to be saved by the crew of another longboat because
of the heavy seas. According to the report, The longboat is
severely damaged. It is impossible to repair it on Pitcairn.
OLeary is one of two longboats, a vital link between
Pitcairn and the outside world since there is no harbor at Pitcairn
and all persons and supplies coming or going must be ferried out
to ships or on to the island by the longboats.
Shortly afterward OLeary was smashed, as efforts
were being made from shore to try to rescue her, Darralyn Griffiths,
part of a group of islanders working to save the damaged boat, was
struck by a heavy rope that suddenly came unstuck. The blow almost
severed the womans right elbow, knocking her to the ground.
Rushed to the Pitcairn medical center, Mrs. Griffiths, was treated
and later put aboard the ship Braveheart which was at Pitcairn
for emergency evacuation to Tahiti. She is being taken to Mangareva,
Gambier Islands, and from there will be transported by air to hospital
in Papeete. She is accompanied by her husband, Turi Griffiths; Melva
Evans; her father, Jay Warren; and the resident physician on Pitcairn.
As Mrs. Griffiths was being prepared for evacuation from the island
to Braveheart standing off-shore, Mason Warren received a
deep cut in his finger as he was working to prepare the longboat
Moss for the evacuation of Mrs. Griffiths. He was treated
and later released from the Pitcairn medical center.
The ship Gambler left Pitcairn with the Braveheart,
bound for Mangareva where it will refuel Braveheart. Containers
on board the Gambler will be arranged at Mangareva so that
when it returns to Pitcairn there will be room to accept on board
the damaged longboat OLeary to carry it to New Zealand
for repair if such is possible.
[More photos of O'Leary
Pitcairn Islands Study Center, 1 Angwin
Ave., Angwin, CA, USA. Herbert Ford, 707-965-6625, 707-965-2047, Fax: 707-965-6504,
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: http://library.puc.edu/pitcairn