November 8, 1988. Botany Bay, Australia. A radio operator receives three calls from Ken Jones, the skipper of a steel schooner called the Patanela. The yacht is currently in the midst of a month-long voyage to Airlie Beach, and Ken Jones’ wife, Noreen, and two crew members, John Blissett and Michael Calvin, are also on board. Ken claims the boat has run out of fuel, but after his final radio call is abruptly cut off, there is no more communication from the vessel. When the Patanela fails to arrive at its destination ten days later, a massive search comes up empty, and neither the yacht nor its four passengers are heard from again. There are enough suspicious things about the disappearance to fuel rumors that the boat was hijacked, but aside from a lifebuoy and a message in a bottle from one of the missing crew members, no trace of the Patanela is ever found. This week’s minisode of “The Trail Went Cold” chronicles our very first mystery about a missing boat.
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The Trail Went Cold is produced and edited by Magill Foote.
All music is composed by Vince Nitro.