It is our sad duty to report the death of our father, Steve Hobley, on his latest voyage across the Atlantic Ocean.
After speaking with both the coastguard and one of the surviving crew members, Olaf, we now have a clearer picture of what happened that night.
It seems that during a particularly violent storm (which was much worse than forecast and saw the catamaran being tossed by waves that were said to be over 45ft high) the catamaran capsized. In the moments before this happened, Steve was at the helm and, at this point, had a life-jacket on but not a full suit like the others. He did not have time to get his own suit on before the boat was overturned in the water.
When the catamaran capsized, the SOS beacon was activated and all three were thrown into the water but managed to drag themselves up onto the hull of the upturned boat. They hung on like that for several hours until the rescue services arrived. As Steve did not have time to get his life suit on, hypothermia set in much quicker for him than it did for the others.
As the rescue services approached, a massive wave washed the three of them off the hull once more. Olaf and Kevin managed to climb back onto the hull but when they pulled on the tether that Steve was attached to only his lifejacket was still attached.
A helicopter winched the survivors to safety and although the rescue crew attempted to recover Steve's body, they were unable to and the search for it was called off 24 hours later.
We would like to thank the surviving crew members for their bravery and for attempting to save our Dad's life when they could have so easily concentrated on purely their own safety.
On the the 16th January 2012, the BBC showed a brief documentary that covered this incident (and two other equally tragic ones) and questioned the behaviour of the yacht management company in question. I was going to put a link to the video of it up here but unfortunately it wasn't possible.
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Last updated: 18th January 2012