2007 Emergency Aboard SA Agulhas
Emergency Aboard SA Agulhas
Statement from Tristan Administrator David Morley sent Friday 28th September 19.46 GMT
" On the morning of Friday 28 September 2007 the Administrator on Tristan da Cunha was made aware of an incident that led to a death on board the SA Agulhas, a South African research vessel, on Thursday 27 September 2007. This involved two South African nationals and occurred near Gough Island, part of the Tristan da Cunha group. With support from London, the Tristan Administrator ensured all necessary steps were taken and appropriate support given. The South African authorities have been informed.
" The Acting Governor on the advice of the Acting Attorney General instructed the Tristan Administrator to inform the skipper of the Agulhas that the deceased and accused will not be able to disembark on to Tristan. There are inadequate resources and facilities on Tristan, to fully safeguard the welfare and rights of such a detained person, or provide the proper and appropriate assistance. In addition given that the ship, its crew, the deceased and the accused are all of South African origin, there are complex jurisdictional issues. It was considered essential that the vessel should return to South Africa where a thorough investigation could be carried out."
" Administrator David Morley spent most of the day dealing with this, speaking on the telephone to the Attorney General in St Helena as well as the FCO in London and the Master of the Agulhas. David learnt on Friday afternoon that the Agulhas was returning to Gough Island to continue its work there. Later on Friday he received confirmation from the Agulhas Master that a South African naval vessel will rendezvous with the Agulhas at Gough and disembark the accused and the body of the deceased. On Friday evening David took the opportunity presented by a social function at the Recreation Hall to brief the community on what has happened and was able to confirm that the Agulhas' return trip to Cape Town via Tristan is back on schedule."
We publish the following from a media statement issued by the South Africa Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and SMIT Amandla Marine (Pty) Ltd
Following a non-work related incident on board the Antarctica Supply Vessel 'S.A. Agulhas' in the early hours of this morning, we regret to advise of the death of one of the crew members, 22 year old Edward Robert Hulley. Mr Hulley served as an Ordinary Seaman (OS) aboard the 'S.A. Agulhas' and his next of kin has been informed.
The incident is currently under investigation by the South African Police Service, who have already begun preliminary investigations from Cape Town .
Saturday 29th September
Sarah Baartman was commissioned in 2005, is capable of speeds in excess of 20 knots and can carry a Super Puma/Oryx helicopter.
Monday 1st October
Wednesday 3rd October - 2nd Update
The Sarah Baartman left Tristan at 09.30 GMT for the return journey to Cape Town to continue detailed investigations into this critical incident which has so shocked the Tristan da Cunha community. SA Agulhas will continue offloading, subject to weather conditions, until revised departure time on Friday 5th October.
Photograph from Claire Volkwyn taken on 3rd October 2007
|Thursday 4th October |
SA Agulhas completed back loading and boarded passengers at 08.00. She weighed anchor and departed for Cape Town at 11.00.
|Monday 8th October - Agulhas voyage news |
The SA Agulhas has been delayed and arrival in Cape Town is expected 09.00 on Wednesday 10th October.
Monday 8th October - Death Investigation Latest
It was alleged that the two sailors had an altercation with Hulley, prior to the stabbing.
Tuesday 9th October (Updated 21st October)
It has been confirmed in South Africa that two SA Agulhas deck hands, Maurice Cox and Antonio Adams, were charged with murder on Sunday 7th October at 6pm after being brought to Table Bay Harbour, Cape Town aboard the Sarah Baartman under a private security escort.
Cox and Adams were removed from the SA Agulhas and held aboard the Department of Environmental Affairs vessel Sarah Baartman following the murder last month.They were charged with murder after being brought to Table Bay Harbour on Sunday 7th October at 6pm under a private security escort. They were held in custody at the Table Bay police station until their court appearance on 9th October.
Murder Charges dropped
On 6th April 2009 the charges against Cox and accomplice Adams were withdrawn in the Cape Town Regional Court in bizarre circumstances after the docket and the investigating officer could not be traced for the court appearance.
Friends and relations of the murder victim will no doubt be aghast at the circumstances which have prevented this case coming properly before the courts for justice to be done. The Tristan community was dismayed at the turn of events, which also raises concerns about the South African legal system.
This piece is copied from the August 2009 Tristan da Cunha Newsletter which contains fuller versions of Tristan da Cunha News and separate articles that don't appear on the website.