Fa­ther and six-year-old turn up in Aus­tralia af­ter four weeks at sea

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

An in­ter­na­tional search has been called off af­ter a fa­ther and his six-year-old daugh­ter turned up in Aus­tralia four weeks af­ter leav­ing New Zealand. Alan Lang­don and daugh­ter Que set sail on a 6.4 me­tre cata­ma­ran from New Zealand’s North Is­land on 17 De­cem­ber. The pair were re­port­edly head­ing to the Bay of Is­lands, in the Far North District of North Is­land, but landed four weeks later in Ul­ladulla Har­bour, New South Wales, more than 1,240 miles away. Af­ter bad weather de­stroyed one of the cata­ma­ran’s rud­ders just four days into their jour­ney, Mr Lang­don said they were left to steer with a sin­gle rud­der and forced to change course. With no ra­dio or satel­lite on board, and only a hand­held GPS to show their lo­ca­tion, he said they were un­able to make con­tact with the out­side world as they sailed across the Tas­man Sea. “We were get­ting pushed south and out, and I didn’t re­alise that sail­ing with one rud­der was go­ing to be as dif­fi­cult as it was,” Mr Lang­don said. The 46-year-old, an Aus­tralian cit­i­zen, is re­port­edly in the mid­dle of a cus­tody dis­pute with Que’s mother Ari­ane Wyler, who hired an Aus­tralian child re­cov­ery spe­cial­ist to help find her daugh­ter. It is claimed to be the sec­ond time she has hired the pri­vate de­tec­tive to track down the lit­tle girl, who lives with her fa­ther. Mr Lang­don said he was sur­prised at the in­ter­est in their jour­ney fol­low­ing a mas­sive search and res­cue op­er­a­tion, and in­sists they were never in dan­ger. He said of his daugh­ter Que: “She spends lots of the time at sea. I don’t see her be­ing in any dan­ger. We were never in dan­ger.” Re­port­ing that they had plenty of wa­ter and dry and tinned sup­plies, he told the Mil­ton Ul­ladulla Times they had “plenty of food and saw lots of whales”.

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