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Old 06-11-2014, 08:14   #1
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Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

Hi, just joined this forum to seek advice:

I have a friend who is sailing single handed from Portugal (Algarve) and was using Delorme InReach satellite tracking once a day to plot his course. His plot / fix can be viewed by friends over the internet. He made the first two fixes but failed to log in on Tuesday evening and Wednesday. The tracking company Delorme confirm Monday was the last time he succesfully used the device. I left it one day, checked the grin files which showed weather in the are a building to 35 knots over Monday night / Tuesday. Checked with other friends and reported LKP to UK coast guard who can't do a lot though they said the would contact Portugal CG. Now the device may have malfunctioned or he may have gone overboard. Is there any advice out there. Eta in Canary Islands would be another 3+ days. I have spoken and given details to the ARC Rally people in the UK to forward to the ARC people in the Canaries in case a late arrival may be in the vicinity and could keep an eye out on radar and maybe vhf any ships / boats in the area of his Monday night fix, which was 165 miles West of CasaBlanca Morocco. Ref: 35.135060,-10.069570.
Yacht is a 28' Trapper 500 called Sarah white hull and sails on passage from Portimao Algarve to Gomera in the Spanish Canary Islands
Thanks.
Ps is there a better place to post this?
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:17   #2
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Chris.

Is your friend Max Liebersen?
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Old 06-11-2014, 08:32   #3
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

Hopefully he is just a bit busy with things aboard the vessel. It is not uncommon to become out of communication with a singlehander as they can get their hands full with happenings aboard the vessel and are very focused, prioritizing to the ships needs. My parents missed many communication deadlines with me. I just had to be patient, follow the weather and their float plan.
I hope all is well. It is too early to worry, please try not to(I know it is hard)
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Old 06-11-2014, 13:50   #4
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

Tuesday in Casablanca was wicked weather on land (not sure about offshore). Heavy winds and lots of rain. Hope your friend is OK.
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Old 06-11-2014, 19:12   #5
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

I understand your concern, and of course, I hope your friend is well. Please understand, however, it is very common for sailors to be delayed en route, and for new electronics to have "infant mortality", sudden death for inexplicable reasons. And, on a 28 footer, it could have got wet and been accidentally rendered non-functional.

The sailor's primary concern is their own welfare and that of their vessel. Bad weather (too much for the boat to continue on course) is always extra-fatiguing. When your friend hasn't been heard from at all and is at least a week overdue, that is when to really get concerned, and report it.

Do you happen to know if he has an HF radio aboard? If he does, there are stations he can contact who will report it if he is in need of assistance.

My guess is that he's hunkered down, waiting for a break in the weather, or possibly proceeding very slowly with his smallest sails, to avoid straining things and breaking them. If he's singlehanding, I bet he's just being conservative.

If he has an EPIRB (emergency position indicator radio beacon), he will set it off if he needs assistance. These are not too expensive and are quite common.

Finally, if he went overboard 3 days ago in the North Atlantic in bad weather, in November, he is unlikely to be found.

So, hope for the best. There are some sailors who do not want to be rescued, but most do, when necessary, and that is why I think he is likely to have an EPIRB for an Atlantic crossing. He might even have a SatPhone, too.

Good luck with it.

Ann
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Old 07-11-2014, 01:47   #6
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

Dear Ann and others , thank you for your advice / comments. There was no other communication equipment on board other than a cellphone(out of range of land) vhf (10-25 mile range) hence request for any boats in the area to be made aware so they can try to contact any unidentified yacht. Lastly the Delorme in reach device that he was using to plot his position each day ( now missed three fixes / days) does have an SOS button similar to an EPIRB but this has not been set off. The device is also waterproof to 3m and tough and floats. Anyway, when your friend goes missing you try all ways to help hence this posting and other attempts to help; it may be that he has fallen overboard but I need and want to make any effort I can, albeit I feel pretty impotent. Hopefully the device is not working but he and his yacht are.
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:49   #7
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

AlgarveChris, so sorry to hear he does not have an EPIRB aboard. Still, if he's gone, it's too late now, and if not, then trust him to be careful, and to make his way, slowly, especially if something major has broken, to somewhere he can contact land. Truly, it is too soon to hang crepe.

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Old 07-11-2014, 10:04   #8
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

Keep a positive outlook.
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:24   #9
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

Has there been any update as to the status of your friend?
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:38   #10
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

The DeLorme Inreach device has an SOS function. This is nearly as good as EPIRB. If he were in trouble he should have been able to use that. I don't want to create false hope but there are several potential causes more likely than the worst possible. I hope your friend turns up.
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Old 07-11-2014, 17:35   #11
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

"Truly, it is too soon to hang crepe."
Beautifully said, Ann
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Old 08-11-2014, 01:14   #12
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

UPDATE.

Someone kindly asked for an update. Well its just Waite and see. I estimate he should arrive between this Sunday and Wednesday next week.Yes the device has a button similar to an EPIRB and it hasn't been activated but then if it could presumably he would have fixed his position. Anyway I think its just wait and see now. I look forward to being made to look like an anxious fool, I'd be very happy. Again my reason to post was not so much to seek reassurance as to seek advice for any sensible action I can take other than what I have done. Thank you. and I will update with a conclusion.
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Old 08-11-2014, 01:22   #13
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

Did you try send an SMS to the inreach?
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Old 08-11-2014, 01:31   #14
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

Yes an SMS was tried but Delorme who I have been in contact with assure me that the device has not been turned on since the last fix on Monday when as I said the batteries were fine and the device working. Thank you for your interest.
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Old 08-11-2014, 02:59   #15
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Re: Help advice - lost contact with yacht! off Morocco

Chrisalgarve,

Keep the faith, mon, the ocean is very big, and we in boats, are very small. But we are canny when it comes to our survival.

Best wishes to both of you.

Ann
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