Update: The search has been called off. The only thing as horrifying as watching your boat sail away from you because you weren't clipped on could be realising your skipper has gone overboard and you, who can't sail at all, are left in the middle of an ocean alone.
This is what happened this week to a British woman, Laura Vernon, non-sailor, on a 12 metre (38ft) sailing boat Jonetsu on a voyage across the Pacific Ocean.
It has been reported that the US Coast Guard in Hawaii has rescued the woman, described as 'having little sailing experience' and the US Navy search continues for the lost yachtsman, Luke Stimson, who lives in Japan, also British and from Shropshire. Stimson works as the Asian director of the international florist David Austin Roses.
The firm said in a statement to the press: 'We are a very close company and all know Luke well, so it is a very worrying time.
'Our thoughts are with his family and we are hoping against hope that he will be found soon. He is a truly remarkable person and a much-valued employee.
'He's an energetic, resourceful, passionate person with a hands-on approach ... He is also a very kind person and it says a lot about his character that he called his 38ft yacht Jonetsu which means 'passion for life'.'
According to Laura Vernon, reportedly his girlfriend, the 35-year-old missing sailor was conscious and wearing a yellow life jacket when he went overboard about 430nm west of the Midway Atoll on Sunday, but he had not been found more than 48 hours later, Coast Guard petty officer Eric J Chandler told Associated Press.
The first distress signal was sent to Falmouth in Britain. Officials from the Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre based at Falmouth in Britain reported to the US Coast Guard at 11.30pm on Saturday that one sailor had fallen overboard and the crew who remained on board had little sailing experience.
The area nearly 1700nm from Oahu was too remote to reach quickly by boat and winds were reported at 20-25kts with six-foot (two-metre) seas.
'It's really challenging out there,' Chandler said. 'We can't get our cutters out there.'
A Hercules aircraft, an amphibious assault ship as well as two navy helicopters are involved in the search and rescue operation. The US Coastguard has two crews working shifts so that they can keep up the maximum hours of search.
Onesails.com - Workforce
OneSails is the culmination of over 35 years of experience accumulated by our team in design and technology applied to sail-making. [More info]
Burke Marine, suppliers of international quality marine clothing and equipment, was founded by Martin Burke on the shores of Sydney Harbour in 1971. Visit our website for your nearest stockist. [More info]
Ensign Ship Brokers
Ensign Ship Brokers was established in 1980 and has spent the last 28 years expanding our marine knowledge and developing our reputation! We strive to provide the very best service! [More info]
Festival of Sails
The Festival of Sails is the largest annual keel boat regatta in the Southern Hemisphere with over 400 yachts and 4300 competitors annually taking part in the event. [More info]
GME Standard Communications Pty Ltd
Leaders in communications and navigation. Their goal has always been to make products whose innovation, convenience and peace of mind can help improve the lives of their customers. [More info]
Henri Lloyd was established in 1963 in Manchester, England. Mr Henri, as he became universally known, founded the company based upon hard earned principles of honesty, integrity and freedom. [More info]
Hood Sailmakers (Aust) P/L is 100% Australian owned and operated. The first sail loft outside of the USA to be granted a franchise in 1968 by the founder Ted Hood. [More info]
Navionics is proud of its superb cartographic database comprising more than 25,000 charts and port plans; the largest privately owned database of its kind, the only one using full seamless technology [More info]
Performance Sailcraft Australia (Asia Pacific)
Laser builder Performance Sailcraft Australia has taken on the successful RS Sailboat range from Britain, and is now licensed to build and distribute all of the RS range in the Asia Pacific region. [More info]
Quantum Australasia Pty Ltd
Quantum Sail Design Group designs, engineers and manufactures sails for racers and cruisers who demand the highest levels of quality and performance. [More info]
Ullman Sails Australia
The Ullman Sails Australia team provides service to customers all over Australia with four main locations in Brisbane, Perth, Sydney and the Whitsundays. [More info]
Vicsail Sydney Pty Ltd, launched into the Australian sailing fraternity in 1983 and has been sailing strong ever since. At Vicsail, “We Sail the Boats We Sell”. [More info]