23 June 2015
The intentions of Tui Marine/Sunsail in regard to the missing crew of one of its catamarans raise a number of questions but the company is not keen to answer them.
Anthony Murray (58), Reginald Robertson (59) and Jaryd Payne (20) were delivering the Sunsail catamaran from Cape Town to Phuket when they went missing in the wake of Cyclone Bansi in January this year.
The upturned hull has been sighted twice – on 21 May and 5 June – by passing ships some hundreds of miles south east of Mauritius and Reunion.
The Sunsail website and its spokesperson Marion Telsnig have both said that the company “has selected a local specialist firm to investigate the area specified by the MRCC”.
ratty.com.au asked Ms Telsnig the following questions:
1. What is the name of the response company the Sunsail website and Marion Telsnig have said has been hired in Mauritius?
2. What is the plan for that company?
3. Will a sea search be conducted for the missing crew and catamaran?
4. If so, when will this be?
5. Will the company wait for a further sighting of the upturned hull or search independently?
6. Who will represent the families if this search goes ahead?
7. Why was no response team ready by the time of the second sighting?
8. Is Sunsail/Moorings/Tui Marine treating this as a salvage operation or a rescue operation?
9. Which company is the legal owner of the catamaran at this time?
10. Is that company the same owner as at the time of the catamaran’s departure?
Ms Telsnig responded:
“I can confirm that we are in communication with the families of the crew and would advise that a number of your questions have already been discussed by the parties concerned. I note from your website that you state that you are close to one of the crew members and I would therefore suggest that you contact the family directly with your queries as we have no wish to presume what information the families are happy to be made public knowledge at this stage.”
(The ratty.com.au website had carried a disclosure in the story of 18 June that Jennifer Moran had been associated with Anthony Murray and his family in her youth.)
A further message was sent to Ms Telsnig on 20 June:
“I disclosed my previous association with Anthony Murray and his family because I am a responsible journalist. As a responsible journalist I would not expect third parties to supply information that should come directly from the appropriate source.
“In our correspondence you have refrained from answering questions that might be uncomfortable for the company you represent. However, there is a broad public interest in this story across many countries with sailing communities.
I do not believe that Sunsail can hide behind a purported sensitivity to the families’ wishes to avoid answering questions about the actions you are pursuing in this matter.
“I ask you again to reply to the questions of my previous email.”
Ms Telsnig replied on 21 June:
“Thank you for your emails and I have nothing further to add to my previous email.”
It seems therefore that Tui Marine/Sunsail will not confirm plans or identify the company they have contracted in Mauritius.
Sunsail has been stating for some time on its website that it reported the men missing. However, the family of skipper Anthony Murray has disputed this. The family says the men were reported missing on 11 February by a friend and again on February 12 by a family member.
Ann Roberts has confirmed on the Facebook page Searching for Anthony, Reg and Jaryd, that it was she who reported the men missing on 11 February. At that time neither Tui Marine or Sunsail had reported the men missing although there had been no communication from the crew since 18 January and Cyclone Bansi had passed through the area from 12 January to 19 January. A number of requests by the family that Sunsail remove the claim from its website have been ignored.
… there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.- Ratty to Mole in The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame