Clues Point To Crime On Missing Yacht

Sydney Morning Herald

Monday May 29, 1989

Police suspicions about the disappearance of the West Australian yacht Patanella have grown following scientific tests on a lifebuoy from the vessel

The Australian Federal Police revealed yesterday that tests by Sydney University marine biologists had found that the buoy, found off Terrigal on the Central Coast on May 9, had been drifting for no more than four weeks.

An oceanographic report had confirmed that prevailing currents meant the buoy probably floated from somewhere in the Coral Sea.

The 19.5-metre vessel has not been seen since it left Portland, Victoria, on November 1.

It has not reported in since an unconfirmed radio message on November 8 saying it was 10 nautical miles off Sydney Heads and coming in under sail because it was out of fuel.

It left Fremantle on October 16 bound for Queensland with skipper Ken Jones, 52, his wife Noreen, 50, both from Perth, and two young crewmen from Taree in northern NSW, John Blissett, 24, and Michael Calvin, 22, on board.

Detective Superintendent Dave Lewington of the AFP's National Criminal Investigations Branch said evidence about the buoy supported the theory that a crime had been committed on the boat.

© 1989 Sydney Morning Herald

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