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Kiwi stowaway rejects kidnap claims

Published: 10:24AM Wednesday April 04, 2012 Source: ONE News

A Kiwi stowaway aboard a yacht that made an unauthorised visit to Antarctica has told ONE News his ship has been detained in Chile over fears he had been kidnapped.

Busby Noble, 53, said he was asleep in the Nilaya when the yacht set sail for the Southern Ocean, captained by "viking" Norwegian explorer Jarle Andhoy late last year.

Andhoy used it to sail to near where his previous yacht, Berserk, had disappeared in a previous expedition in an Antarctic storm, with the loss of three men .

The yacht then sailed to South America where it has now been detained in a Chilean Naval Base.

"I believe the New Zealand authorities have authorised them to pull us up and someone in New Zealand has told them that I've been kidnapped," Noble told ONE News.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs denies the allegations, but admits it did ask for any information on the vessel.

Noble said armed Chilean officials boarded and searched the Nilaya for any information about its recent trip to Antarctica.

"They had side-arms but they were holstered, they weren't pulled out on us or anything, they did treat us in a civil way," he said.

Mfat said it welcomed the search of the vessel and has asked Norway to prosecute the expedition's leader, Andhoy.

Noble said he does not feel good about the actions of his fellow New Zealanders and will stay on the yacht of his own free will.

The Nilaya will stay at the naval base until a temporary passport is issued for Noble. The ship will then head to Argentina.