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Cormorant 20-11-2013 04:57

Greg Stephanoff missing overboard in Hawaii, s.v. "C:Drive"
 
Sailboat missing since October found adrift, boater missing - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Coast Guard has suspended the search for missing boater Greg Stephanoff after locating his vessel, the sailboat C: Drive, adrift at sea Friday some 1400 miles from Oahu.
"Our boarding team found the vessel in good condition, so there are no signs of anything that could have happened on board the vessel that could've given us any indication he got into any trouble" Lt. Craig Dente of the Coast Guard told Hawaii News Now.
"This is a very unique case" he added.
The reason for that comment was because there were no signs of intrusion of foul play on the vessel, but also because the Coast Guard never received a distress signal from the vessel.
Stephanoff was last seen leaving the Ala Wai boat harbor on October 2nd. Two days later, a concerned friend contacted the Coast Guard and a search began.
It was suspended on October 15th when the vessel could not be located.
However, when it was spotted in November, the case was temporarily re-opened.
Stephanoff is divorced, with two adult sons from his marriage. Hawaii News Now spoke to his ex-wife today, who lives in California. She said, while the two have gone their separate ways, the relationship he had with his sons has always remained positive.
Her husband said the sons are planning to come to Hawaii sometime in the near future, but haven't planned an exact date.

boatman61 20-11-2013 05:11

Re: Greg Stephanoff missing overboard in Hawaii, s.v. "C:Drive"
 
Sad news...

belizesailor 20-11-2013 05:29

I assume he was single handed and fell overboard....must be a really sobering moment to watch your boat sail away from you.

S/V Alchemy 20-11-2013 08:43

Re: Greg Stephanoff missing overboard in Hawaii, s.v. "C:Drive"
 
I associate "sober" with calm resignation. I suspect I would be more into the futile "screaming breaststroke" for the first five minutes.

Assuming this wasn't a case of suicide, solo sailors should really consider (aside from the obvious "don't pee off the stern" thing) lashing off in such a way as to cause the boat to round up. Even one of those Quatix watches would've been an option here, although they would only bring the boat closer, not de-throttled if it was motorsailing.

Which might be worse, now that I think of it.

Yeah, this is sad.

belizesailor 21-11-2013 06:54

Yes, I am much more cautious when single handed. Really should clip in whenever leaving the cockpit, but of course that's a hassle and not likely to happen consistently.

johnmcntsh 21-11-2013 07:06

Re: Greg Stephanoff missing overboard in Hawaii, s.v. "C:Drive"
 
Very sad, My thoughts are with his family.

gonesail 21-11-2013 07:13

Re: Greg Stephanoff missing overboard in Hawaii, s.v. "C:Drive"
 
similar thing happened off the coast in north florida. well known fisherman's boat still idling along with nobody aboard. some thought he could survive in the water but it was 68 degrees so not very long. they never found him :(

fjwiley1 21-11-2013 07:18

Re: Greg Stephanoff missing overboard in Hawaii, s.v. "C:Drive"
 
Another reinforcement for a harness/jack line even as cumbersome as they may be...agree, very sad and unfortunate for all of his family.......:(

captain58sailin 21-11-2013 07:45

Re: Greg Stephanoff missing overboard in Hawaii, s.v. "C:Drive"
 
My Condolences to the family.

CaribbeanCraig 21-11-2013 07:48

Re: Greg Stephanoff missing overboard in Hawaii, s.v. "C:Drive"
 
Does anyone know if he was a diver ?

BeachyLife 21-11-2013 12:11

Re: Greg Stephanoff missing overboard in Hawaii, s.v. "C:Drive"
 
Does anyone know of a service that can recover his boat and return it to Honolulu? Greg is my sons' Dad (my ex) and I'm trying to help them unravel this mystery. Supposedly the boat is in good condition except for the sails which are shredded (seen a photo). Coast Guard would not tow because of how far out in the Pacific it is. Would love to help my sons recover the boat if not too expensive so they could sell it. Any help from the sailing community would be welcomed.

S/V Alchemy 21-11-2013 12:32

Re: Greg Stephanoff missing overboard in Hawaii, s.v. "C:Drive"
 
It's not going to be difficult to find a delivery skipper, but that and sufficient crew (your sons?) isn't going to be cheap.

You may wish to consider if Dockwise Transport comes to Hawai'i. That's a way of having the boat brought Statesside crewless (until it's off-loaded...)

Condolences on your loss.

EDIT: Oh, sorry, I didn't realize the boat was still adrift. Be aware it's open to be salvaged, i.e. whomever boards it and gets it to shore will have a claim on it.

BeachyLife 21-11-2013 15:06

Re: Greg Stephanoff missing overboard in Hawaii, s.v. "C:Drive"
 
Thanks for you reply. I know nothing about boats so excuse me if this sounds dumb. What is "dockside transport"? My sons are reluctant to pursue this because they've been told it would cost too much but I thought it's worth a shot checking it out. Supposedly the boat is worth $100,000 being the Mom I am I thought we should act least explore our options. Based on what my sons have told me, it would need new sails and it's continuing to drift further and further West of Hawaii. It took the Coast Guard 5 days to reach it from Honolulu and that was last Friday.

Charlie 21-11-2013 15:17

Re: Greg Stephanoff missing overboard in Hawaii, s.v. "C:Drive"
 
BeachyLife: It is a difficult proposition. 1400 miles is beyond the range of most sailboats to motor. You can't just buy some sails and go to the boat. Sails are customized for every boat. Then there is the question of finding the boat again. It is not an easy thing to find a boat in a vast ocean. Sorry to say it would be difficult -- near impossible.

S/V Alchemy 21-11-2013 15:50

Re: Greg Stephanoff missing overboard in Hawaii, s.v. "C:Drive"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BeachyLife (Post 1396903)
Thanks for you reply. I know nothing about boats so excuse me if this sounds dumb. What is "dockside transport"? My sons are reluctant to pursue this because they've been told it would cost too much but I thought it's worth a shot checking it out. Supposedly the boat is worth $100,000 being the Mom I am I thought we should act least explore our options. Based on what my sons have told me, it would need new sails and it's continuing to drift further and further West of Hawaii. It took the Coast Guard 5 days to reach it from Honolulu and that was last Friday.

It's "Dockwise" (see Home :: Dockwise Yacht Transport). You get your boat to their huge freighter ship, the ship semi-sinks, you motor over the deck onto a cradle, and the crew tie you in and weld the cradle down. It's like a car transporter, only for yachts.

As for your boat, I'm a little surprised your CG didn't "cut the hoses" and sink it as it may be out of range of retrieval and will bob as a nav hazard in the North Pacific until it's swamped or hits an atoll or Japan or Russia.

In other words, even if you could find it...then what? With no sails and perhaps flat batteries and compromised engine, to put your untrained sons aboard would be dangerous and ill-advised.

I think the best you can do is to cut a deal with a salvor, a pro who will take a large chunk of the sale price in return for going out and finding the boat and paying to tow it to safety...no easy or brief task.

BeachyLife 21-11-2013 20:08

Re: Greg Stephanoff missing overboard in Hawaii, s.v. "C:Drive"
 
Thanks everyone who replied. I think I've finally accepted that this would be a very difficult, costly venture. Now I understand why my sons wrote it off so quickly. I think I just needed to hear it from experienced mariners like yourselves. We have other more pressing things to try and figure out at this point so I'm over it, although I did find that comment about the CG letting it continue to drift and possibly be a hazard very interesting. Again thanks everyone.

S/V Alchemy 22-11-2013 05:06

Re: Greg Stephanoff missing overboard in Hawaii, s.v. "C:Drive"
 
You're welcome. Be prepared to learn that someone has scooped it up and salvaged it. If you are approached with an offer to buy back personal items or gear from the boat, don't be offended that you're dealing with thieves...the laws surrounding marine salvage are quite straightforward, if somewhat alien when compared to, say, residential property: Law of salvage - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

So you may yet hear of this boat if a fisherman with a big enough boat finds it adrift in calm conditions. If it lands on some little impoverished island, by contrast, you may not hear a thing...it'll be parted out in hours.

I would deal with the insurance (if there was insurance) settlement on the basis of "no, it's gone". In some ways, you and your sons, having decided to let it go, want nothing to do with it legally. If it rolls onto a beach in a bird preserve, for instance, and spills diesel or other toxins, you don't want to be on the hook for the clean-up...that's one of the reasons I'm surprised the CG didn't sink it on the spot when it was clearly established the boat had been abandoned...it's several tons of potential pollution now, and if it isn't going to be brought back, it should have gone straight to the bottom. It's navigationally now the same dangerous unlit thing as an awash container busted off a cargo ship, except it's a bit easier to see.

surfergirl808 22-11-2013 17:08

Re: Greg Stephanoff missing overboard in Hawaii, s.v. "C:Drive"
 
Aloha BeachyLife,
My boyfriend and I used to crew on Greg's boat on Sundays. This whole situation came as a real shock, and we are still trying to make sense of it. Our thoughts are with you and your family, Greg's a great guy and a terrific sailor. c:drive was a total dream boat, any effort (within reason) would be great in trying to retrieve this vessel. I am not going to bash the CG for marking and leaving it to drift, perhaps they felt it was still in good enough condition for someone to come across and claim.

BeachyLife 23-11-2013 18:45

Re: Greg Stephanoff missing overboard in Hawaii, s.v. "C:Drive"
 
Surfergirl808, when was the last time you saw Greg? Trying to help my sons put together the pieces leading up to his disappearance. Have heard all sorts of theories, just wondering what to make of it all.

surfergirl808 23-11-2013 19:30

Re: Greg Stephanoff missing overboard in Hawaii, s.v. "C:Drive"
 
Aloha BeachyLife:

The last time we sailed with Greg was Sept. 22nd, which was a Sunday.

Would you please give me your email address, I'd feel better discussing this privately, instead of on this forum (no offense intended). My email address is ijan808@gmail.com.

We're home the rest of the night, so I can answer any questions you may have.
Thanks!

surfergirl808 23-11-2013 19:32

Re: Greg Stephanoff missing overboard in Hawaii, s.v. "C:Drive"
 
Email me at ijan808@gmail.com, would rather discuss Greg not over this forum.
:o)

BeachyLife 23-11-2013 19:59

Re: Greg Stephanoff missing overboard in Hawaii, s.v. "C:Drive"
 
Supposedly the CG found his GPS on board and are sending it back. Is is possible to extract any info from it that might give us a clue as to where his boat has been since he went missing?

Tx J 23-11-2013 20:53

Re: Greg Stephanoff missing overboard in Hawaii, s.v. "C:Drive"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BeachyLife (Post 1398517)
Supposedly the CG found his GPS on board and are sending it back. Is is possible to extract any info from it that might give us a clue as to where his boat has been since he went missing?

Sorry for your family's loss.
Depending on the GPS model, options selected, whether it was in use, etc., some GPS's will retain some or all tracking data for varying times and distances.
Try to find out from the USCG what brand and model GPS it is and relay it here, somebody here will know of it and have an operation manual.
There are also certain "national technical means/resources" that know exactly where it might be, if you could get them to pass it on.

If the boat is still afloat, a salvage could be attempted, the least cost way would probably be if Greg had some sailing friends who might attempt a salvage voyage, 14-1500 miles isn't an impossible distance, depending on the vessel.

However, I'm skeptical of the report of the USCG leaving the boat drifting out there.
We're a Coastie family, (and unofficially) in many similar encounters (particularly with drug runners), the CG will use the opportunity to scuttle a vessel to allow the gun crew some practice, rather than leave a 'navigational hazard' (no point in "cutting the hoses", or opening the seacocks, when a fun gunnery evolution can be availed of on the deep).
I read somewhere that the CG had sent a buoy tender to intercept the C drive, so it may not have had appropriate armament.
If so, I'm curious why they didn't just hoist it aboard for retreival, a buoy tender (of all vessels) is equipped for such operations, although maybe not having the capacity for that particular boat.

Anyway, some possible questions you might ask of the USCG.

BeachyLife 23-11-2013 22:13

Re: Greg Stephanoff missing overboard in Hawaii, s.v. "C:Drive"
 
Thanks for the info. I think a call to the CG is in order to get better details. I'm only going by what I was told by the news anchor who contacted me the other day. Although I don't share a love of sailing, the photo I've seen of the C-Drive in better days, it's a beautiful boat. Unfortunately, if it truly is still adrift, it seems like it would be challenging to locate again and then costly to retrieve. We wish the buoy tender had hoisted it aboard. So assuming he had insurance on it, how would my sons proceed on a claim? Would this even qualify as an insurable loss?

Tantalus 23-11-2013 22:41

Quote:

Originally Posted by BeachyLife (Post 1398576)
Thanks for the info. I think a call to the CG is in order to get better details. I'm only going by what I was told by the news anchor who contacted me the other day. Although I don't share a love of sailing, the photo I've seen of the C-Drive in better days, it's a beautiful boat. Unfortunately, if it truly is still adrift, it seems like it would be challenging to locate again and then costly to retrieve. We wish the buoy tender had hoisted it aboard. So assuming he had insurance on it, how would my sons proceed on a claim? Would this even qualify as an insurable loss?

If you can find out what marina he last stayed at, since most marinas now ask for insurance, they may have a record of the company he had it insured with. Let me addmmy condolences at your and your sons loss and the difficult times this must be for you all.


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