Alan Sefton, head of blakexpeditions and friend of the Blake family, has revealed more detail on the death of Sir Peter Blake on New Zealand’s National Radio
Alan Sefton, head of blakexpeditions and friend of the Blake family, has revealed more detail on the death of Sir Peter Blake on New Zealand’s National Radio.
The attack took place at 10.15pm local time, while Seamaster was anchored off Macapa neat the mouth of the Amazon, awaiting customs clearance to proceed to the Orinoco basin as part of blakexpeditions’ five-year mission to catalogue the effects of pollution and global warming on the world’s most sensitive habitats.
“They’d been out for dinner,” said Sefton, “just got back on board and were having a beer on deck. Out of the darkness appeared this group of approximately seven or eight bandits with guns and hoods and motorcycle helmets and held the crew at gunpoint.
“It appears Sir Peter might have been below because by all accounts he came charging up, was met halfway and was cut down in his path. He was shot at least twice and although the crew did try resuscitation when they could get to him, he died immediately.”
The rest of the crew was held at gunpoint while the bandits robbed watches, cameras, an inflatable dinghy and an outboard. They then fled, firing as they left and wounding two other crew members.
“We were aware of this kind of danger and always prepared for it,” said Sefton. “There was always a good watch kept from the vessel 24 hours a day. But it appears these guys just came out of nowhere in the darkness and the crew were confronted by guns and desperate men.”
The circumstances surrounding his death are as yet unclear. Seamaster crew members say Blake “came charging up in defence of his boat and his crew and got taken down in full flight.” Brazilian police claim Blake used a rifle to defend his crew, possibly injuring one of the bandits, before they turned on him.
“He was probably shot twice in the back,” said a Brazilian police spokesman.