Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 728x90

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.

T Clewring AC72Newport Boat Show 2016 660x82North Technology - Southern Spars

Related Articles

Free $US3,000 Carbon Vang with SouthernFurl boom orders in July
Southern Spars is giving a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July Southern Spars is giving away a free carbon vang - valued at US$3,000 - with all of their SouthernFurl in-boom furlers ordered in July. Carbon gas vangs make a great addition to the furling boom package, though if you’d prefer to keep your existing one, Southern Spars will offer you a 5% discount on the price of your boom instead.
Posted on 29 Jun
Newport Bermuda Race - High Noon takes honours
As the Newport Bermuda Race fleet rushed to the finish line on Monday in the wake of the first-to-finish boat, As the Newport Bermuda Race fleet rushed to the finish line on Monday in the wake of the first-to-finish boat, the powerful 100-foot grand prix Comanche, to the surprise of many they were led by an unusual boat and crew. High Noon, at 41 feet, is fully 59 feet shorter than Comanche and tens of feet shorter than many other entries.
Posted on 22 Jun
Platino recovery - Family confirms that tug has made rendezvous
Reports in social media say a salvage tug has made a rendezvous with the Platino earlier than expected. Reports in social media by family and friends of Nick Saull, the crew member killed during a catastrophic incident abroad the 66ft yacht Platino say the salvage tug which left on Tuesday night has made the rendezvous earlier than expected. The Facebook report says the tug, Sea Pelican, arrived on Friday morning, the weather in the area has eased and with a more favorable outlook.
Posted on 16 Jun
Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron to ban bottled water
Approval has been given to create a ban on bottled water that comes in plastic containers. The RQYS Management Committee has confirmed that approval has been given to create a ban on bottled water that comes in plastic containers. This will place the club as a leader in environmental impact management in Australia and around the world. The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club earlier this year did likewise. Who’s next?
Posted on 16 Jun
SouthernFurl In-Boom furling systems withstand Sydney Hobart test
Southern Spars design team have developed the SouthernFurl Boom smaller budgets and yachts from 35-70 feet. Have you ever scared your family when you got stuck with too much sail up when you should be reefed? Southern Spars’ range of SouthernFurl booms are the answer – letting you reduce sail quickly and easily without leaving the safety of the cockpit.
Posted on 23 May
2016 Garda Trentino Olympic Week - Day 4
Garda Trentino Olympic Week 2016 draws near to the conclusion: the weather once again proves difficult. Garda Trentino Olympic Week 2016 draws near to the conclusion: the weather once again proves difficult. Tomorrow the medal race is scheduled for the Lasers and another two races for the three paralympic classes.
Posted on 13 May
CCA presents RCC Award to Scott and Mary Flanders
CCA has announced that Scott and Mary Flanders are the recipients of the organization’s 2015 Royal Cruising Club Trophy. The Cruising Club of America (CCA) has announced that Scott and Mary Flanders are the recipients of the organization’s 2015 Royal Cruising Club Trophy.
Posted on 22 Apr
Cyclone Winston Relief Fund – Help the people of Fiji
Sea Mercy is sending volunteer fleet of small and large vessels, loaded with shelter, food and medical supplies to Fiji. Sea Mercy is once again sending our volunteer fleet of small and large vessels, loaded with shelter, food, water and medical supplies and teams to Fiji.
Posted on 27 Feb
Golden Globe Race - 30 sailors from 12 countries named for challenge
Sailors from America, Britain and France head the preliminary entry list for the 2018 Golden Globe solo round the world Sailors from America, Britain and France head the preliminary entry list for the 2018 Golden Globe solo round the world race. The 29 men and one woman – have each paid an initial A$3,000 entry fee. Other entrants hail from Austria, Australia, Brazil, Estonia, India, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Palestine, Russia and Switzerland.
Posted on 18 Feb
Passage making and the responsibility to others—World Cruising news
Editorial Editorial
Posted on 29 Jan