From the CRA Website:
November 15, 2010…Cruising Rally Association (CRA), Hampton, VA…Steve Black, owner of Cruising Rally Association, announced today that crew member
, Laura Zekoll from Atlanta, GA is the subject of a search and rescue mission by the US Coast Guard and the Bahamian Defense Force.
The news of the search was received by CRA mid-day on Sunday, November 14, 2010 from boat owner, Richard Ross. The emergency
contact information for Laura Zekoll, was communicated to the Coast Guard who notified her contact that a search was in process. The notice of the search was shared with the fleet on Monday morning, during the radio
check-in at 07:00 hours AST (Atlantic Standard Time).
The owners of sailing vessel Rule
62, Richard and Debra Ross, also from Atlanta, GA, communicated earlier that they were going to leave the fleet and divert to the Bahamas. During the Saturday 19:00 hours AST radio
check-in, Richard reported that they were nearing the Bahamas. According to the satellite
transponder provided by the CRA to each vessel in the fleet, Rule 62 stopped moving at 20:56 hours AST Saturday, November 13.
Black said, “with great sadness, we report that Rule 62, a Jeanneau 46DS, was swamped while attempting entry into the Bahamas. Richard and crew Laura Zekoll were washed overboard
. Another crew member and Debra launched the life raft, which subsequently overturned in swells.” The boat is currently on a reef in the Bahamas. Boat owners Richard and Debra Ross along with one crew member were airlifted to safety
after their emergency
signal was received by the Coast Guard. The search for Laura Zekoll is still continuing.
The sailing vessel Rule 62, is part of a fleet of 71 sailing vessels, the majority of the fleet is still at sea. The fleet departed Hampton, VA on November 8, 2010 in route
to the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands
. This is the 21st year of the annual passage