Death shall have no dominion

February 13, 2007

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan’t crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

Dylan Thomas

The Best description of what might have happened (quoted by Wenley)

Kayak builder speculates
By Sophie Speer – The Southland Times
Tuesday, 13 February 2007

The situation must have unravelled swiftly for kayaker Andrew McAuley not to have set of his emergency beacon, kayak builder Paul Hewitson said yesterday.


Mr Hewitson, of Australia, has been helping police with their investigation to find out what may have caused Mr McAuley to become separated from his kayak off the coast of Milford Sound on Friday night as he neared the end of his attempted trans-Tasman crossing.

A garbled distress call was made shortly after 7pm on Friday night. Mr Hewitson said one possibility was a large wave, which may not have been as large as some he had experienced but which may have knocked him out of his kayak. After 30 days in the water Mr McAuley may not have had the strength to get himself back into the kayak.

There have been conflicting reports about whether Mr McAuley had the correct safety equipment but Mr Hewitson said he had taken an immersion suit on his first attempt at the 1600km crossing, which was abandoned in December last year because of rough weather.

Mr McAuley had given Mr Hewitson a list of items he did not take on the second attempt but the immersion suit was not on the list.

It was assumed Mr McAuley had his dry suit on, which he had been wearing for the entire trip. Mr Hewitson said the immersion suit would have been too bulky to paddle in so may have been kept in the kayak’s back hatch. One possibility was that he had tried to get it out of the hatch in a hurry, leaving it open and causing the kayak to fill with water, he said. This may have been why the distress call on Friday night contained the words “I’m sinking”.

He said Mr McAuley had a rope to tether him to the kayak when he entered the water to retrieve items from the front hatch. However, he was unable to say whether Mr McAuley was using this tether at the time. “If he was, he wasn’t tethered very well.” The kayak could have moved away too fast for him to swim back to it.

Mr Hewitson viewed the kayak on Sunday and said it was in perfect working order. The only thing missing was the cockpit cover, which was designed to provide shelter while sleeping as well as to right the kayak when it capsized.

It was not clear at which stage the device detached from the kayak. Photographs taken by someone on the Clipper Odessy, the cruise liner that picked up the kayak after its discovery on Saturday night, may help answer more questions.

This would include whether he was paddling at the time of the incident, or whether he had finished for the night and was preparing to “shut up shop” and close the cockpit cover, Mr Hewitson said.

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