PRESS RELEASE (just received)
MAURITIUS TO DURBAN YACHT RACE - MISSING YACHT MOQUINI - Media Release no. 5
Monday 26 September 2005
Missing Yacht Moquini - Search Called Off
The search for the Missing yacht Moquini with six crew members on board has officially been called off.
This was announced in Durban this afternoon after the families of the missing crew members had met with search and rescue
“It has been an exceptionally difficult decision to make” said Dave Claxton, Chairman of the race organising committee. “It’s a decision that Matthew Thomas, Richard Crockett and I made in the cold light of day having rationally and unemotionally sifted through every single
shred of information we had, and objectively analysed it. Plus, we have consulted experts far and wide to see if there is anything we may have missed, or any stone we have left unturned - with the answer always being that everything possible has been done up to this point.”
The families have been understanding, and have requested that the following statement be issued on their behalf:
“We, the families of the missing crew aboard MOQUINI have not given up hope of the crew being found, and would like to acknowledge the incredible and selfless effort the rescue
team has put in to finding our husbands, sons, and brothers. We would like to express our appreciation to the media for their responsible and sympathetic reporting on this search and rescue mission, and to the public at large for the wonderfully generous support of the RNYC MOQUINI Rescue Fund, and for their care, sympathy and support. We have been astounded at the support from school children
who have donated their lunch money
, to the corporate giants of South Africa
who have supported us. Words just cannot express our thanks and appreciation sufficiently. With all our hearts we thank you.”
The six crew aboard MOQUINI are:
Dickerson, Ostendorf and Goolam all sailed the yacht from Durban to Mauritius for the race which started on Saturday 10 September off Grande Baie, Mauritius.
“While the search may have been called off, we the search and rescue committee, will monitor
things on a daily basis, and should any shred of new evidence come to light that requires us to send aeroplanes out to an area for a search, we will do so” said Matthew Thomas.
MOQUINI was officially declared missing on Friday 16 September when a very brief signal from her EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio
Beacon) was received indicating that she may be in some sort of distress
. Complete communications
had been lost
with the yacht on Wednesday 14 September. It was not until the EPIRB signal was received was there any indication that they yacht may have been in any trouble.
Details of the missing yachtsmen: .............
for the full statement and crew details.