Mystery of the disappearance of 25 people from the yacht MV Joyita

(ORDO NEWS) — MV Joyita was a comfortable yacht with 25 passengers who mysteriously disappeared in the South Pacific in 1955. What happened to the passengers and crew of MV Joyita?

MV Joyita was a 21-meter wooden yacht built in 1931 for film director Roland West, who named the ship Joyita, which means “little jewel” in Spanish, after his wife, actress Jewel Carmen.

In October 1941, Joyita was purchased by the US Navy, who used her as a patrol vessel on the Big Island of Hawaii until the end of World War II.

In 1943, the Joyita ran aground and was seriously damaged. The navy was still in dire need of the ships, so the ship was repaired. After the war, the ship became redundant and was sold to Louis Brothers.

Mystery of the disappearance of 25 people from the yacht MV Joyita 2
Dr. Burt Hodgkinson, one of the ship’s missing passengers

After that, “Joyita” changed several owners, was used as a trading and fishing vessel.

Joyita left the harbor of Apia in Samoa on October 3, 1955 at 5 am. The ship was heading for the Tokelau Islands, which are about 270 kilometers away.

Joyita was supposed to sail the day before, but was behind schedule due to engine failure. left Samoa on one engine.

There were 25 people on board: sixteen crew members and nine passengers.

The MV Joyita was expected to sail for about 48 hours and arrive in Tokelau on 5 October. When the ship did not arrive as expected, a search and rescue operation was launched.

From October 6 to October 12, 100,000 square kilometers of ocean were surveyed, but no trace of MV Joyita or her passengers was found.

No trace of MV Joyita was found until November 10, when Gerald Douglas, captain of a Tuvalu merchant ship, came across Joyita about 600 kilometers from where she went missing.

The ship was in very poor condition and heavily flooded. Passengers and crew were nowhere to be seen. Four tons of cargo were also missing.

Rescuers noticed that the Joyita radio station was tuned to 2182 kHz, which is the international maritime distress radio channel.

“Joyita” floated on her side. Parts of the ship were dented and broken. Windows and doors were broken. The Joyita was missing a lifeboat and three life rafts.

The ship’s starboard engine was found to be covered by mattresses. The port side engine was dismantled.

A pump was installed in the engine room, but it was not connected properly.

The radio station on board was damaged and had a range of only about two kilometers, making it almost impossible to call for help.

The electric clock on board stopped at 10:25 p.m. and the light switches were turned on, which meant that everything that happened happened at night.

Most of the ship’s navigational equipment was disabled.

A doctor’s bag was found on deck, containing medical equipment and bloody bandages.

Based on the amount of fuel remaining on board, it was determined that the MV Joyita was abandoned 50 kilometers from Tokelau.

The ship’s cork hull and the load of empty barrels made it nearly impossible to sink. It is not known why the crew left Joyita for this reason.

The most puzzling aspect of the MV Joyita mystery is why the passengers and crew abandoned the ship when it was virtually unsinkable. Several explanations have been put forward as possible options.

Captain Miller had extensive experience on the MV Joyita and must have been aware of the ship’s unique ability to stay afloat.

This has led some to speculate that something happened to the captain before the ship got into trouble. The bloodied bandages on board could have belonged to him.

If the captain hadn’t reassured the passengers and crew of the Joyta’s ability to stay afloat, they might have panicked and tried to escape on the life rafts.

However, these are only assumptions, since neither lifeboats nor people have been found.


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