Loss of vessel, sailors draws critics

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American sailor Skip Novak, with 24 years of bluewater sailing in four Whitbread Round the World yacht races and voyages to Antarctica, has questioned the wisdom of the lost Norwegian yacht Berserk entering the Ross Sea. He says he advised skipper Jarle Andhoy strongly against sailing there, saying, 'It was not safe for small yachts at any time of year."

Andhoy, himself safe as he was on the mainland of Antarctica when the yacht foundered last month, contacted Novak last year for advice about his proposed voyage to the Antarctic.

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Meanwhile, Antarctic tour operators have come out in support of prosecuting the Berserk yacht owner. The International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators, in a statement released Thursday, called the incident of the Norwegian yacht Berserk that went missing in Antarctic waters last week "tragic," but also underlines the vessel did not have proper authorization or permits for their expedition and fully supports Norwegian prosecuting authorities for their investigation into the case.

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