Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

US Navy finds upturned hull of Cheeki Rafiki - no signs of life aboard

by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz on 24 May 2014
The Cheeki Rafiki, pictured during Antigua Sailing Week, before it ran into difficulties returning to the UK. MailOnline
The hull of the missing UK yacht Cheeki Rafiki has been found in the North Atlantic ocean by a US Navy warship.

In a statement issued by the US Coastguard who is co-ordinating the resumed search they said that a U.S. Navy warship helicopter crew located the overturned hull of the Cheeki Rafiki 1,000 miles offshore Massachusetts and within the U.S. Coast Guard's search area, Friday.

There was no evidence to suggest the vessel was different from the capsized boat already located during searches on Saturday, May 17, also within a U.S. Coast Guard search area.

The warship diverted to the location and deployed a boat crew and surface swimmer to assess the boat.

The surface swimmer confirmed the name on the ship was Cheeki Rafiki and went in the water to investigate further. The swimmer determined the boat's cabin was flooded and windows were shattered, contributing to the complete flooding inside.

The swimmer also knocked on the hull and reached an arm's length below the waterline with no results. Surface swimmers are not trained divers and do not perform sub-surface operations.

Navy crews observed that the sailing vessel's keel was broken off, causing a breech in the hull.

The hull sighting has not impacted search planning as teams continue to look for a bright-colored life raft as their search object.

The U.S. Coast Guard made an announcement, Thursday, that search operations would be suspended at midnight Friday unless new information or sightings suggested the crew would still be alive. None of the current developments indicate that to be the case.

As a matter of policy, the U.S. Coast Guard does not perform salvage operations.

Last Thursday week, the sailors contacted the yacht's owner to say they were taking on water and diverting to the Azores.

Contact was lost the following day and it is thought the yacht may have capsized. Locator beacons activated by the crew indicated they were in a position 1,000 miles east of Massachusetts on the morning of Friday 16 May.

The BBC reports that a UK Foreign Office spokesman said it was keeping in close contact with the US Coast Guard and had informed family members of the missing men of the discovery.

A friend of the family of James Male, one of the crew, told the BBC they were remaining optimistic that he may still be alive.

Earlier, debris picked up by a searching multihull, was determined not to have come from the Cheeki Rafiki.

Second Atlantic rescue
In a second incident, the US Coastguard report they have arranged the transfer of three crew from a 41ft yacht Elusive, was beset by storms in the Atlantic Ocean, approximately 350 miles east of Virginia Beach.

Rescued are Larry Monesson, 60, Sean Monesoon, 40, and James Moore, 40.

The father of James Moore contacted Coast Guard 5th District Command Center watchstanders at approximately 1 a.m. Thursday reporting he received a message via satellite phone from his son. The message stated the crew of the Elusive were experiencing high winds, 25-foot ocean swells and engine failure, but were attempting to repair the engine and not requesting assistance at the time.

District command center watchstanders established a communication watch with the crew of the Elusive. The watchstanders also conducted a search for the closest automated mutual-assistance vessel rescue (AMVER) ships to the distress and conducted an enhanced group call (EGC), a broadcast service using the Inmarsat communication system, asking for possible assistance from ships in the area.

The crew aboard the Bow Clipper, a 600-foot Norwegian flagged tanker, responded to the Coast Guard's EGC broadcast and contacted the crew of the Elusive via VH-F radio.

At approximately 5 p.m., a crewman aboard the Elusive contacted the district command center watchstanders and informed them the situation worsened, and the crew intended to abandon ship and transfer to the Bow Clipper.

The two crews coordinated the rescue and at approximately 7:15 all three people were reported safe aboard the Bow Clipper.

'The early communications by the crew of the Elusive and the proactive response by the crew of the Bow Clipper allowed the watchstanders to arrange for the Bow Clipper to be in position to effect an immediate rescue when the situation aboard the sailing vessel Elusive deteriorated,' said Lt. Cmdr. Tim Eason, the 5th District's search and rescue mission coordinator. 'Additionally, the crew of the Elusive took the proper precautions before departing port by ensuring they had a working satellite phone and personal locator beacons.'

The Bow Clipper's next port of call will be Wilmington, North Carolina.

There are no reports of injuries.

PredictWind.comSouthern Spars - 100Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

Coast Guard Foundation receives donation from Ice Hockey Team
Coast Guard Foundation announced today that it received a donation from the Guilford High School Ice Hockey Booster Club The Coast Guard Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to the education and welfare of all Coast Guard members and their families, announced today that it has received a donation from the Guilford High School Ice Hockey Booster Club for $2,568, to benefit the Coast Guard Foundation’s Fallen Heroes Fund and Scholarship Fund.
Posted today at 5:50 am
Bavaria Yachts to introduce Cruiser 34 and Nautitech 46
The Cruiser 34 will be on show at the Bavaria Yachts display at the Strictly Sail boat show at Bayside’s Miamarina The Cruiser 34 will be on show at the Bavaria Yachts display at the Strictly Sail boat show at Bayside’s Miamarina, from February 16th to 20th.
Posted on 13 Feb
Unique Transatlantic Sailing Event - Building friendship across oceans
Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, organised to celebrate Canada 150, 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation. Sailing in the wake of the great explorers, international friendship and understanding is at the core of this once in a lifetime adventure - The Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, organised to celebrate Canada 150, the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation.
Posted on 10 Feb
Frigid flying – Coast Guard aircrews take on New England Winter
Freezing rain? Teeth-chattering temperatures? Limited visibility? Coast Guard aircrews are still ready to fly. Freezing rain? Teeth-chattering temperatures? Limited visibility? Coast Guard aircrews are still ready to fly. At Air Station Cape Cod, aviation maintenance and electronic technicians work around the clock to ensure the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters are prepared and ready to launch. There is one thing the maintenance crews and pilots cannot control: winter weather.
Posted on 9 Feb
On board interview with Lisa Blair - solo Antartica circumnavigation
So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. After the setbacks of a delayed departure due to gremlins in the electronics, we are delighted to have these answers from her on board. She is well and enjoying her time. Climate Action Now, her Hick 50, left Albany in Western Australia on January 22, 2017.
Posted on 8 Feb
Yachting cartoonist Mike Peyton dies at 96
“The World’s Greatest Yachting Cartoonist” died on January 25, 2017 just five days after his 96th birthday. Mike Peyton, dubbed “The World’s Greatest Yachting Cartoonist”, died on January 25, 2017 just five days after his 96th birthday. A modest, shy man, he eschewed the spotlight and seemed unaware of the esteem which in sailors all around the world held him.
Posted on 27 Jan
Zhik Xeflex® - your shield against cold environments
This radiant barrier mid-layer nearly defies description. This radiant barrier mid-layer nearly defies description. How do you make a water resistant garment that really breathes, yet reflects your own body heat back to you? Where do you find a compression resistant and extremely insulating filling that is nowhere near as bulky as the Michelin Man, yet gives you that kind of warmth and comfort?
Posted on 17 Jan
Sounds like a boat - Lisa Blair's departure delayed due to electronics
Final preparations of her yacht, Climate Action Now by Sydney-based sailor Lisa Blair have uncovered an electrical issue Final preparations and safety checks of her yacht, Climate Action Now by Sydney-based sailor Lisa Blair have uncovered an electrical issue.
Posted on 15 Jan
Lisa Blair starts Solo Circumnavigation of Antarctica
Over 3,500 people have climbed Mount Everest, only two men have sailed solo, non-stop and unassisted around Antarctica. Over 3,500 people have climbed Mount Everest, over 500 have rowed across the various oceans and 12 people have landed on the moon. Only two men have sailed solo, non-stop and unassisted around Antarctica. Sydney-based Lisa Blair, 32, intends to become the first woman, the fastest and the third person in history to conquer such a challenge.
Posted on 14 Jan
When whales meet sails
CAMPER helmsman Roberto ‘Chuny’ Bermudez found himself nearly face to face with whale in middle of North Atlantic Ocean. Currently the database for marine mammal strikes is very sparse. We are requesting sailors and boaters help to submit information on current and past incidents, however long ago that may be. By giving a location, date, identification if possible, and any other relevant information you can help scientists better understand where marine mammals are at risk for strikes
Posted on 8 Jan