Shock. I've spent a lot of time boating with him, but always on separate vessels, and my little sister has been friends with him for more than a decade. I know and trust both Ayla and Gary but didn't question why they had stopped showing up, and didn't question why so many other friends had left on other voyages (everyone always has a plausible reason). I don't want someone I called a mate until this morning to shoot themselves though.
"We as a crew believe in and have enjoyed our time as volunteers working towards the mission of research and bringing medical equipment to remote communities in the Pacific," he said.
"We have acted in good faith towards this goal unknowing of issues from past voyages. On finding out about these issues we as crew have decided that these past actions do not align with our beliefs.
"We would appreciate if you respected our privacy at this time."
He confirmed that he and other members of the crew were no longer aboard the Southern Progress.
A 19-year-old woman on the crew, who asked not to be named, said "everyone who needed to be off the boat was off the boat and safe".
Definitely a relief to hear this!