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Press Statement Update On San Cuvier Accident

28 July 2008 11.45am

Press Statement Update On San Cuvier Accident

Tragically lost in the grounding of the San Cuvier was the skipper, Rick Josephs, 38 years old from Matapuri, Northland. Rick was an experienced skipper of longline vessels and had been working with Sanford since 2004; he was known as a very steady and reliable skipper and is very good and loyal to his crew and his people as well as being a very good fisherman. He will be sadly missed by his surviving crew and his other colleagues at Sanford.

Also, sadly lost was (Beef) Damien Wyatt of Ohauiti, Tauranga. Beef was 35 years old, a skipper himself but sadly had just joined the boat for this trip to help out in a relieving situation. Beef was well known, highly respected and experienced fisherman from the Port of Tauranga; he had been involved in fishing since he left school at the 16 and including owning his own boat for a period. He will be sadly missed by all who know him in the fishing community throughout the North Island.

Our thoughts and sympathies of all at Sanford are with the families of these two brave men. We are doing all we can to support their families at this difficult time.

The surviving crew are Chasson Manukau, a 22 year old fisherman from Auckland who had been working with Rick longlining on the San Cuvier for the last three and a half years. Chasson has been released from hospital but is still suffering from extensive bruising and cuts to his body from the pounding he took on the rocky shoreline.

Still in Whakatane hospital is Thomas Tepania, a 16 year old fisherman who was just starting out on a fishing career and who also suffered extensively from the pounding he took trying to reach shore.

An attempt by insurance assessors and company personnel to board the vessel from the sea was unsuccessful this morning because the vessel has been driven up into such shallow water and there is still a large swell in the area. An attempt will be made this afternoon to try and board the vessel by helicopter to assess the possibility of salvage and to seal the fuel tanks. There has been no evidence of fuel leaks at this time.


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