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Southern Indian Ocean: Missing South African yacht search focuses west of Perth, Australia

By Perth Now Sunday Times — last modified Mar 11, 2015 01:21 PM
A desperate search for the crew of a missing yacht is focused on an area 2200 nautical miles west of Perth. As reported by Perth Now Sunday Times.

Published: 2015-03-11 00:00:00
Topics: Safety and Medical
Countries: Australia , Madagascar , South Africa , Thailand

Read full report at http://www.perthnow.com.au/

Thousands of internet users across the world have joined an online “crowd sourcing” search effort by scouring satellite images.

SV Moorings, a South African catamaran, went missing in the Indian Ocean en route from Cape Town to Thailand.

Skipper Anthony Murray, 58, and crew Reginald Robertson, 59, and Jaryd Payne, 20, last made contact with their families via satellite phone on January 18.

The vessel was due to arrive in Phuket on February 2. They were carrying supplies to last 65 days and have been at sea for 87 days.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority traced the last satellite telephone call to a location about 2190 nautical miles west northwest of Perth.

At the time the call was placed, the catamaran was in the vicinity of Tropical Cyclone Bansi, with gusts of up to 85 knots and a 12 metre swell.

An AMSA spokeswoman said there was an EPIRB on-board but so far no distress signal has been detected.

An “all ships broadcast” alerting ships to report sightings has been issued, but a search and rescue mission is considered not feasible.

The search area, which is within the Australian search and rescue region, is 6.5 million square kilometres, roughly two-thirds the size of the United States.

Drift modelling by AMSA suggests SV Moorings would have drifted in a westerly direction towards Madagascar.

The three men were delivering the Sunsail catamaran on behalf of US maritime leisure business Tui Marine.

A statement on behalf of their families said the concern for an overdue boat had turned into real fear that the men were in need of rescuing.

US satellite company DigitalGlobe this week launched the online search effort on its Tomnod website.

The campaign is attempting to recruit internet users to look for objects of interest in satellite photographs over the area.

For more information, go to www.tomnod.com or “Searching for Anthony, Reg & Jaryd” on Facebook.

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