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Coast Guard Suspends Search for Missing Sailor off the Bahamas

By Sue Richards last modified May 30, 2008 06:47 PM

Published: 2008-05-30 18:47:57
Countries: Bahamas

May 27th, 2008 - MIAMI

Coast Guard search and rescue coordinators at Sector Miami suspended search efforts for Peer Steenburg, the master of the 36-foot sailing vessel Holo Ki Ki, Sunday night.

Crews from the Coast Guard Cutter Bluefin, two HH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrews from Air Station Miami, a HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Clearwater deployed in support of Operations Bahamas Turks and Caicos (OPBAT), a C-130 Hercules fixed wing aircraft crew from Air Station Clearwater, an HH-65 helicopter crew from the Royal English Airship Lars Bay and crews from the Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association exhausted a 628 square mile search area since Steenburg was reported unaccounted for at 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

A good Samaritan boater contacted search and rescue coordinators at Coast Guard Sector Miami Sunday requesting permission to board the unmanned sailing vessel Holo Ki Ki about 20 miles north of West End, Bahamas. Once aboard the Holo Ki Ki, the good Samaritan reported the vessel was empty but evidence aboard the vessel confirmed it had been recently occupied. Later that afternoon the owner of Holo Ki Ki contacted Sector Miami to report he had hired Steenburg to transport the sailing vessel from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to the Netherlands.

“It is always difficult for search and rescue coordinators to make the decision to suspend search efforts for a person lost at sea,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jennifer Johnson, a Coast Guard public affairs specialist in Miami. “Our thoughts and condolences are with family and friends who knew Peer Steenburg at this time.”

Sent in by Nancy Birnbaum
Online Editor - Cruising Compass
Blue Water Sailing Magazine