Many Lennox Head residents remember Forfar and Sally Petrie who lived here for years, raised their family and involved themselves at every level in local community life.
Forfar was a nurse and Sally was the local physiotherapist, until she sold her practice to Simon Prior in 2013.
When they retired the couple bought a yacht called MV Squander and set sail to live onboard. Since 2015 they have cruised Australia’s coastline, visited Vanuatu and New Caledonia, and most recently spent six months in New Zealand, their home.
It was as they set off once more, this time on their way to Tonga, that disaster struck. Mast supports snapped in stormy conditions and the crew of four spent the next few days drifting at sea, in real danger of losing the whole vessel if the mast itself was broken.
In the end they were forced to abandon the yacht and pile into the life raft, from which they were dramatically plucked three hours later by the Auckland Rescue Helicopter.
Says Sally, ‘We are all safe and well, strengthened by the love and support of family and friends. This was not how we had anticipated separating from our beloved Squander.’.