Rumours of foul play circulate

The search for the three men, missing after their 9.8m catamaran was found drifting 80NM off the coast of Queensland, Australia last week has been called off. Police, initially convinced they were dealing with accidental drowning, have had their theories drowned out by scores of others, including kidnapping, piracy and murder.

In scenes reminiscent of the Marie Celeste, the yacht was found with dinner utensils and food on the table, the saloon lights on and the sails set – with damage only to the jib, which appeared to have flogged itself on the inner forestay. When rescue workers boarded Katt II, they found the engine running, a laptop set up and switched on and the radio working. The vessel’s emergency beacon and three lifejackets were still on board, along with a dinghy.

On deck, a fishing line was out, sunglasses and a pile of clothes lay undisturbed. Down below, a wallet was out on the table in full view.

‘Nothing was stolen,’ said Rob Kothe of ‘The fenders were out, which would suggest another boat had come alongside. The feeling is that the three men may have witnessed something that has landed them in serious trouble. There have been many documented cases of criminal activity including drug exchanges off the Queensland coast. Perhaps the three sailors saw something incriminating. We may never know. I just hope the three West Australian’s are safe on one of the 30 to 40 Great Barrier Reef Islands nearby and will explain it all to us soon.’