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Update on the search for Cheeki Rafiki

21 May 2014


The US Coast Guard is continuing to coordinate the search for the four crew of Cheeki Rakiki today. There are currently 3 aircraft and 4 large merchant vessels searching the area, with a further 2 merchant vessels expected soon.

Air crews have searched a total of 2,878 square miles since the search has resumed. The square mileage for ship searches is still being determined. Weather on scene is six-foot seas with winds at less than 10 knots.

The message has also spread through the yachting community to pass the search area co-ordinates to any sailing vessels that are making the trip between the Caribbean/Bermuda to the Azores and are able to sail through the search area. This includes a number of ARC Europe rally yachts who are in a more northerly position and as such able to sail close to the estimated drift positions provided by the US Coast Guard. Currently three yachts have indicated they have been able to divert towards north of the rhumb line and will enter the search zone in the next 24-48 hours to assist with the search efforts. World Cruising Club have been made aware of at least 2 other private sailing yachts who will also proceed to assist with the search.

Yacht Malisi was at the head of the ARC Europe fleet and able to divert in order to begin sailing in a search pattern yesterday morning. They continued throughout the day following instruction from the US Coastguard and liaising with them once the search operation was resumed. Skipper Patrick Michel said they slowed down overnight, had contact with a Canadian SAR aircraft, and continued the search again this morning. They reported lighter winds, 13 knots and wave height reducing to around 1m which will help the search efforts.

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