Loss of the New Zealand fishing boat “Easy Rider” NW coast Stewart Island 14 March 2012 claimed eight livesMarch 20th, 2012 by Warwick Hughes
Reading some of the earlier press on this tragedy there was mention of worsening weather. Google will find many articles. If anybody can find forecasts for the morning of the 14th – please send them in. Likewise if anybody has weather observations from the NW of Stewart Island – I would be keen to see them. Is there a lighthouse there ?
I was curious as to what the BoM satellite images show – here are 24 frames at 30 minute intervals that day – the time is UTC (Greenwich)and NZ is 13 hours ahead.
So as the images roll through – look for the early morning frames – around Loop Number 7 – that would be when Easy Rider left Bluff that evening. Opinion seems to be that she was lost about midnight – so look for the 11.32 UTC frame – Loop Number 12. The semi-circular patch to the south of NZ is cold air and the cloud band signifying the cold front is blindingly obvious. You could expect elevated winds around a cold front – made worse by shoaling water around the NW capes. I am not saying cold fronts are “ship sinkers” – but negative factors can add up.
These satellite animations are available free on the BoM website. Not hard to check if an unfavourable system is coming your way. The satellite archives are here.