April 25, 1962
COAST GUARD RULES BLUBELLE
KETCH WAS INTENTIONALLY SUNK
Miami Florida (AP) The U.S Coast Guard ruled Wednesday that the ketch Bluebelle was intentionally sunk at sea by Captain Julian A. Harvey and that he killed five passengers prior to the sinking.
The five were Harveys wife and Mr and Mrs. Arthur Duperrault and two of the Duperrault's children.
A Coast Guard report, in it's investigation into the tragic sinking last Nov. 12 and Terry Jo Duperrault, 11, survived through five fortuitous circumstances.
The report said Harvey did not harm Terry Jo or her sister, "probably in the assumption that they would drown when the vessel sank."
Renee drowned when the Bluebele sank but her body floated because of a life jacket she was wearing the report said.
It concluded that Harvey recovered Renee's body and kept it to lend credibility to the story he would later tell after being rescued.
hese are the circumstances the Coast Guard listed as probably having saved Terry Jo's life:
* Harvey was prevented from assuring that she did not survive because a dinghy had gone adrift and Harvey had to retrieve it
* Terry Jo knew of a small, balsa, life float and was able to free it from the sinking ketch and climb into it
* Harvey was unable to locate the girl after the vessel sank
* The weather was mild enough to permit the 11-year-old's survival with no food, water, shelter and with scant clothing
* She was almost directly in the path of the rescue vessel, the Captain Theo, on the morning of Nov. 16 when the small life float was spotted
The Coast Guard said circumstances would not permit determination of how the lives of the four Duperraults and Mr. Harvey were taken or the order in which they died.
The Coast Guard said the probably cause of the casualty was the state of mind of Julian A. Harvey at about 11:30 p.m. Nov. 12, 1961.
The report added the motives for the acts of Harvey cannot be ascertained, however, the fact that he was the sole beneficiary of his wife's insurance policy and that he was sorely in need of funds must be considered.
No criminal prosecution was indicated, due to Harvey's death, the report continued.
The Coast Guard recommended that he Bluebelle's owner, Harold S. Pegg, be cited by the 17th Coast Guard district commandant for alleged violation of regulations providing license requirements by the operator in charge.
The report said the ketch did not have a licensed operator aboard during the ill-fated cruise.
The Coast Guard report came a day after an insurance company asked a federal court to rule on the death of one passenger.
She was Mary Dene Harvey, 34, wife of Bluebelle's skipper Julian A. Harvey. He killed himself a few hours after learning Terry Jo Duperrault, 11, was rescued semi-conscious from a liferaft.
Child Refutes Story
Harvey's tale of dismasting and fire last Nov. 12 in a Bahamas squall bore little resemblance to the account related to Terry Jo after she was nursed back to strength in a Miami hospital.
The pretty blonde, Green Bay, Wisconsin girl, orphaned in the Bluebelle tragedy, told Coast Guard interrogators she saw no fire or broken masts on the 60 foot ketch. She said she did see her mother and brother lying on blood spattered decks and was slapped by Harvey, who she said, was carrying the ship's rifle and later abandoned her on the sinking craft.
On Charter Cruise
Harvey 44, a former Air Force officer with a history of involvement in auto, plane, and boating accidents, skippered the yacht Bluebelle on a Duperrault family vacation charter cruise with his wife as helper. Dr. Arthur Duperrault, 49, Green Bay optician, his wife Jean, 38, their son Brian, 14, and daughters Renee, 7, and Terry Jo had saved for a long time for the trip out of Fort Lauderdale.