Exclusive: Family of Platino yacht victim's 'indescribable rage' at Maritime report findings

A Maritime New Zealand report has found the crew on a stricken yacht didn't do enough to try to save the life of a man who was knocked overboard two years ago.

The Platino got in big trouble in the ocean north of New Zealand when it struck four-metre waves whipped up by powerful winds.

There were three survivors: Tory and Harry McKeogh and Ross McKee, who were rescued by a container ship.

But two men died. Nick Saull was killed on board, hit by rigging on the yacht's boom. Steve Forno was thrown overboard and never found.

On Tuesday, a Maritime Safety authority report found that "it appears action could have been taken in an attempt to assist Steve Forno in the water, but it was not."

Mr Forno's family still has so many questions about what happened, that all come back to why nobody helped him.

"We've got to live with it everyday," says sister Viv Widdison.

The Platino was about 500km north of New Zealand when it got into trouble in 2016, leading to the deaths of both Mr Saull and Mr Forno.

The report states: "All surviving crew members saw the crew member [Mr Forno] in the water but no item was ever released from the yacht in an attempt to aid his rescue.  The report also said: "The crew's options were severely limited by the chaotic and dangerous situation on deck, and a lack of control over the yacht."

"The environment on deck was extremely dangerous. This limited the actions that could be taken."

Mr Forno's three sisters, Ms Widdison, Lynn Wilson and Claire Forno, and brother-in-law Dean Watson can't believe the findings.

"We thought that they would have made every effort to retrieve him or to help him," says Mr Watson.

The report notes that neither the McKeoghs nor Mr Mckee deployed equipment such as a 'man overboard module'. 

"If anyone could make it out there, he had the power of mind to be that person," says Ms Widdison.

The report also found that the Platino "likely passed close to [Mr Forno] on at least two occasions".

However the report does say that one of the surviving crew, Ross McKee "believed the risk created by the swinging boom made it too dangerous to reach the equipment."

"How many times did they see him and they did nothing?" says Ms Widdison.

The multi-million-dollar yacht was skippered by Tory McKeogh, a member of the Todd Family, which owns the Todd Corporation.

The report found "a number of issues" with the vessel, saying the "safety culture was casual and relaxed" and "few steps were taken to ensure the safe operation of the yacht".

"It's indescribable, the rage that I feel towards them," says Ms Widdison.

On Wednesday, with the release of the report, Maritime Safety also told the family that it's been decided a prosecution is "not appropriate in this case".

"There's been absolutely no closure for us and it just hurts," says Ms Forno. "It just brings it all back."

Tory and Harry McKeogh issued a statement through their lawyer John Walton.

It said: "They have previously reviewed and commented on the drafts of this report, but they have not yet had the opportunity to review the final report. They are not, therefore, in a position to make any comment on the report at this stage."

"This was a terrible tragedy. The loss of Nick and Steve hangs heavy on the hearts of all three survivors; Tory and Harry extend their condolences and their thoughts to both families in their time of grief. Both appreciate the extent of loss suffered by both families."