Rip Curl’s Quest 1 surf charter boat took her last breath late last night as the legendary surf vessel sank to the bottom of the sea in the Mentawais. Fortunately, everyone onboard (eight guests and five crewmembers) made it off the doomed craft and into lifeboats safely. The next morning, approximately seven hours later, they were rescued.
Pete Nevins, a passenger on the ship, speculated that the boat began taking on water near the engine room around 2 o’clock in the morning and sank just hours later. After jumping ship, Nevins describes the harrowing reality of being adrift at sea in the dead of night.
“It was a frenzy at first – people were just jumping off, going under the ski, all that stuff – the ski tipped over actually. We had a masseuse on board, who wasn’t a very good swimmer, and she grabbed onto one of the guests to stay above water, but was bringing the guest down in the process,” he told Surfing Life magazine. “We had to stop it. But in the end we regained composure and got everyone into the life rafts.”
Apparently, they were able to send a distress call and another surf charter boat in the area, the Indies Trader III, came to their rescue hours later. In a twisted turn of events, the man who captained the Indies Trader III, the intrepid surf legend Martin Daly, actually built the Quest 1, which was originally dubbed the Indies Trader II.
The ship had become a symbol of surf exploration in the Mentawais and was featured in Rip Curl’s Tip 2 Tip film and Search campaigns.
After their rescue, the original members of the Quest 1 boarded another boat, the Ratu Motu and headed back to Padang. Here’s to hoping they’re able to hop back onboard another boat and finish up their surf trip.