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GPS to Help Find Missing Persons at Sea

by atina 2010-04-02 10:41

Paul van Rensburg and his dog Juanita set sail 17 days ago from Tauranga and has been missing since then.


Police and marine authorities are using GPS to help provide information to what happened to missing boatman Paul van Rensburg. Rensburg has been missing for three days and despite all search team efforts in Gisborne, Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion found Mr. van Rensburg’s yacht, Tafadzwa, on Sunday on a training exercise, about 110kn west of the Chatham Islands.  When authorities arrived and boarded the ship, there was no sign of Mr. van Rensburg or his dog, Juanita. The yacht went under a forensic investigation soon after it was discovered in the Chatham’s.


"Really it's just a good search of the boat, lots of photos, videos, just searching the boat looking for clues and checking out the equipment and seeing what's working and what's not,” states Chatham Islands Constable Kane Haerewa.


Though at this point in time the investigation is complete the marine authorities can ask for further information to be produced. Which is why they’ve turned to the boats GPS system as a last resource for clues to help the authorties and family members understand what happened to Mr. van Rensburg. The GPS device could provide vital information.


"That's really the big clue that we're hoping to get some information out of, because really that could tell us when he's possibly gone off course and how long he's been drifting and all that sort of stuff," he said."There's safety harnesses there but we don't know what he (Mr. van Rensburg) was wearing, that's the problem when someone goes out by themselves."


Members of Mr. van Rensburg's family were traveling to the Chatham’s from South Africa and the United States, and would decide what would happen to Juanita and the yacht.


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