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Old 04-04-2014, 10:54   #1
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Sailboat went off course into Algeria

Hi All,

My girlfriend (was fiance) is on a very nice sailboat that was headed down the Mediterranean. The GPS locator says it went off course all of a sudden about 2 days ago and headed right towards Algiers, Algeria. I looked it up and there are travel warnings to Algeria for kidnappings of westerners and terrorism. They went right to the Navy/Military spot on the dock, then last dot is 100 yards away at the shipping dock parking area. Looks like there are 31 knot winds out there. Maybe went there to hide out from the weather and can't get wifi? I haven't heard from them.. they can only send messages back here if they can find wifi. Starting to worry as the dot hasn't headed back out to sea in a couple days. Their destination is Malta.

Thanks - Non Sailor here
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:01   #2
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Re: Sailboat went off course into Algeria

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Originally Posted by arcticcatmatt View Post
Hi All,

My girlfriend (was fiance) is on a very nice sailboat that was headed down the Mediterranean. The GPS locator says it went off course all of a sudden about 2 days ago and headed right towards Algiers, Algeria. I looked it up and there are travel warnings to Algeria for kidnappings of westerners and terrorism. They went right to the Navy/Military spot on the dock, then last dot is 100 yards away at the shipping dock parking area. Looks like there are 31 knot winds out there. Maybe went there to hide out from the weather and can't get wifi? I haven't heard from them.. they can only send messages back here if they can find wifi. Starting to worry as the dot hasn't headed back out to sea in a couple days. Their destination is Malta.

Thanks - Non Sailor here
that does not sound good.

there are many refugee smuggler boats that operate inthe area.

i would recommend contacting with as much information as you can ,including the spot locator web address

For general HM Coastguard/Search and Rescue enquiries

Tel: 023 8032 9486
E-mail: SAR.Response@mcga.gov.uk

or maybe better

MCA HQ
Spring Place
105 Commercial Road
Southampton
Hampshire
SO15 1EG



SAR Operations Specialist
Mr Roly Mckie
Tel: 023 8032 9332
E-mail: Roly.Mckie@mcga.gov.uk
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:19   #3
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Re: Sailboat went off course into Algeria

^ Thanks for that. They were about 30 miles off shore when veered towards Algeria. I just messaged the US Embassy on facebook asking for information. If I contact the coast guard could that be bad? I mean, I don't want to make a big deal if there isn't a big deal. I am just concerned with their safety and she said she would get wifi in every port and contact me, and this wasn't on the planned stops that I was told.
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:41   #4
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Re: Sailboat went off course into Algeria

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^ Thanks for that. They were about 30 miles off shore when veered towards Algeria. I just messaged the US Embassy on facebook asking for information. If I contact the coast guard could that be bad? I mean, I don't want to make a big deal if there isn't a big deal. I am just concerned with their safety and she said she would get wifi in every port and contact me, and this wasn't on the planned stops that I was told.
i would contact MRCC first,let them do the investigation,thats what they are there for,and have far greater resources ,even if it proves to be a false alarm.
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:56   #5
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Re: Sailboat went off course into Algeria

If your girlfriend is a US citizen and you are concerned for her safety abroad you should contact the nearest (to you) US Embassy and file an official inquiry. Facebook is hardly official channels and might not convey your serious purpose.
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:03   #6
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Re: Sailboat went off course into Algeria

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If your girlfriend is a US citizen and you are concerned for her safety abroad you should contact the nearest (to you) US Embassy and file an official inquiry. Facebook is hardly official channels and might not convey your serious purpose.
much quicker to go direct to MRCC,the embassy will only forward the enquiry to the us coast guard,who will in turn forward it to the MRCC UK who cover all SAR co-ordination this side of the atlantic.
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:07   #7
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Re: Sailboat went off course into Algeria

What is MRCC? I am in central NY. I googled US Embassy and get hotels named Embassy. I realize facebook isn't the best option.. but when you click contact them on their website, its just an address and a Facebook page came up in search.

Maybe I am worrying for no reason. I have never traveled over there, all I know is the stuff I am reading online says that is a pretty unsafe stop. And the fact they have been there 36? hours and went straight to a navy/military stop..
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:08   #8
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Re: Sailboat went off course into Algeria

This reminds me of this story from last year: Yacht Hijacked By University Of Texas Via GPS Spoofing - Technology News - redOrbit

I doubt that's what happened here, but was an interesting story at the time. I guess there is still a place for dead reckoning in the modern cockpit.
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:13   #9
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Re: Sailboat went off course into Algeria

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Originally Posted by arcticcatmatt View Post
What is MRCC? I am in central NY. I googled US Embassy and get hotels named Embassy. I realize facebook isn't the best option.. but when you click contact them on their website, its just an address and a Facebook page came up in search.

Maybe I am worrying for no reason. I have never traveled over there, all I know is the stuff I am reading online says that is a pretty unsafe stop. And the fact they have been there 36? hours and went straight to a navy/military stop..
You best quit messing around and follow what Atoll is suggesting immediately.
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:17   #10
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Re: Sailboat went off course into Algeria

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What is MRCC? I am in central NY. I googled US Embassy and get hotels named Embassy. I realize facebook isn't the best option.. but when you click contact them on their website, its just an address and a Facebook page came up in search.

Maybe I am worrying for no reason. I have never traveled over there, all I know is the stuff I am reading online says that is a pretty unsafe stop. And the fact they have been there 36? hours and went straight to a navy/military stop..
MRCC = marine rescue co-ordination center.
phone them or email them ,let them decide,these guys spend years training to deal with scenarios such as yours.

what flag is the vessel?
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:32   #11
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Re: Sailboat went off course into Algeria

here is a local usa number call and give them the details they will fwd it to mrcc uk if nessacary or advise accordingly.

United States MCC +1 (301) 817 4568 +1 (301) 794 6536 usmcc@noaa.gov Suitland, MD, United States
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:36   #12
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Re: Sailboat went off course into Algeria

You are in the US -
To contact the Department of State in the U.S. call 1-888-407-4747 (from the U.S. or Canada) or (202) 501-4444 (from overseas).

Probably worth a phone call to the US Coast Guard for advice too. They'll certainly know who you should contact.

Best of luck, hope all is well......
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:45   #13
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Re: Sailboat went off course into Algeria

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You are in the US -
To contact the Department of State in the U.S. call 1-888-407-4747 (from the U.S. or Canada) or (202) 501-4444 (from overseas).

Probably worth a phone call to the US Coast Guard for advice too. They'll certainly know who you should contact.

Best of luck, hope all is well......
No answer but thanks for the numbers! 1 was fax, no answer at the other.
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:47   #14
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Re: Sailboat went off course into Algeria

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here is a local usa number call and give them the details they will fwd it to mrcc uk if nessacary or advise accordingly.

United States MCC +1 (301) 817 4568 +1 (301) 794 6536 usmcc@noaa.gov Suitland, MD, United States
try these ones in the usa should be 24/7

Atlantic Area SAR Coordinator
Commander
U.S. Coast Guard
Atlantic Area
Portsmouth, Virginia Overall responsibility for areas covered by RCC Boston, RCC Norfolk, RCC Miami, RSC San Juan, RCC New Orleans and RCC Cleveland plus a portion of the North Atlantic Ocean out to 40 degrees west longitude. (757)398-6700
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Old 04-04-2014, 13:12   #15
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Re: Sailboat went off course into Algeria

Got thru to MRCC in the UK. They took a bunch of information and are making phone calls to check on the safety of the vessel. I hope everything is OK and she doesn't kill me for this. The man sounded concerned that the boat went right to an Alergian Navy Dock.
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