Sunday, April 7, 2013

Windigo Update

The yacht Windigo was abandoned on a crossing from Tonga to New Zealand. When we last heard, it was drifting NE from the position at which it was abandoned, so it came as a surprise to learn that the boat washed up on the coast of Australia, well to the west.  Here are a couple of links to articles: ABC Coffs Coast  and NZ Herald

The couple who owned her were surprised that she had been stripped of her valuables before they reached the scene, but this is not surprising. The same thing happened to a friend of ours who's boat was washed ashore during hurricane Jimena in Mexico. I was interested in the issue of ownership of an abandoned boat and this article has a skeleton outline of international law. Interestingly, it seems that the ownership of the vessel remains with its owners even if they abandon it and that this even extends to articles that float free or are jettisoned from a wreck. Unfortunately, in reality one must stay with a vessel or post guards on a wreck to prevent looting or salvage claims.

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