We were introduced to Edwin Butter and OceanConservation by Erik Dalhuijsen, a trusted work colleague of 5 years. Mr Butter officially claimed to be a certified Lloyds certified surveyor who had continually maintained the Orion of Aberdeen, and officially presented as a "worldwide expedition vessel" .
They claimed to take scientists into the Atlantic to conduct research. In reality the Orion was "acquired" from Deiter & Angelika Schilling in 2011 for an agreed sum of 65,000. In depth police interviews with the Schillings, the original yacht broker in Lemmer Netherlands, marina staff and others revealed the truth. Dalhuijsen, a very close friend of Butter and long time steel vessel owner was in the area when Orion was acquired by Mr Butter.
Mr Butter had borrowed €30,000 from Dalhuijsen who wanted his money back. He also borrowed €28,500 from Michael Strottman (SY Hang Loose) who was never paid back, plus failed to pay an outstanding €2,500 to the Schillings before heading to the Canaries. So the Orion was acquired by Mr Butter for a total of €4,000 !
No proper maintenance was ever performed on the vessel. Serious deficiencies were cosmetically concealed and the vessel described as a thoroughly seaworthy vessel.
It transpires that very little of what Mr Butter claims can be substantiated:
- Claimed to be a Lloyd's certified surveyor - Lloyd's have no record of his name.
- Claimed to be an HSE certified surveyor - HSE have no record of his name.
- Possessed of an RYA Yachtmaster Ocean laminated certificate card - RYA have no record of his name.
- A claimed airline pilot with Air Holland - 10 long standing employees were contacted by investigators,
(inc. Air Holland chief pilot 1985-2005) they had never heard of him.
The authorities (Dutch water authority, Dutch police, and Interpol) were advised and updated Dec 2022.