3YØI Press Release #4
March 27, 2019
And yet! The captain of the MV Atlantic Tuna had to take a difficult but responsible decision to take a course back to Cape Town, South Africa. But the 3YØI Expedition is NOT cancelled – we don’t give up that easily.
I just had a long conversation with Dom 3Z9DX on board on the MV Atlantic Tuna. The seas calmed down enough to let them do a proper technical inspection of damages caused by the severe cyclonic storm last night. Here are more details on the latest dramatic events.
On March 26, 2019, the vessel had been approaching a cyclonal storm wandering nearby Bouvet Island. The captain analyzed the latest weather reports indicating a chance to break through the storm – it hadn’t been that strong at that time. Unfortunately, the storm developed and intensified in a matter of an hour. Around 5-6 o’clock GMT, just 70 nautical miles off Bouvet island, the ship has been hit by a series of 11+ meters (36+ ft) tall waves + wind exceeding 83 knots/h (approx. 160 km/h). The fierce oceanic forces swept past the upper deck, taking one of the radars, including VSAT, VHF and HF marine antennas, off the mast and throwing them all overboard. The hit was so hard the vessel tilted as much as 45° (but that’s still safe in terms of the vessel’s construction).
EACH AND EVERY TEAM / CREW MEMBER IS FINE, FEELING OK AND SAFE!
With lack of the most important navigational tools, the captain declared it’s not safe to navigate and they need to go back to Cape Town to secure both all participants on the board, their equipment and the vessel’s gear. In addition, all forecasts for coming hours are not positive. The Team totally relies on the captain’s decisions – he has more than 20 years of sailing experience in similar areas on both hemispheres. The Team did not try to push things forward and they all followed the captain’s order and agreed it’s better to postpone plans for safety reasons.
The ship is now heading back for Cape Town, South Africa, and once back it will go through a process of all necessary repairs and technical inspections. Once the Team estimates the necessary time to fix everything at the ship, another decision will be taken: to return to Bouvetøya in yet April, or to postpone the expedition for next coming season. Nevertheless…
THE DXPEDITION IS NOT CANCELLED!
Regardless of the final outcome of our attempts, it’s clear that activating Bouvet Island is one of the most difficult and the most dangerous undertakes of the ham radio – and not only – history. Yet, the 3YØI’s events will be long discussed and analyzed by the Team to “attack” the island one more time – as soon as possible – again all marked with “safety-first” principles.
The Team has dedicated more than 4 months living in Cape Town, right next to the vessel, to prepare things in person. We have sacrificed Christmas time and spent that special time without our families. And yet, have spent an enormous amount of our private funds to make it all happen for the ham radio’s sake. But we don’t give up, and we all know we gained your trust in our current and future ham radio attempts. We really appreciate that!
Until now, Bouvet Island vs. Hams 2:0! But that’s just the first half of the show. Long live the ham radio legacy and its supporters!
The 3YØI Press officer