Thursday, June 6, 2013

Lady Domina Mystery Continues

Attention: All ships at sea.  The sv Lady Domina departed the Island of St. Martin on April 1st, 2013 supposedly heading for the Azores.  She has not been heard from since.

A Falcon 50 was dispatched to search for the Grain de Soleil

Today we got some good news, in a way.  We got a confirmed first party report Kati Lee, the only female crew, said they were headed for Puerto Rico before heading to the Azores.  Why is that good news?

The answer is, because the crew could have spent many days in Puerto Rico fixing more problems and buying final provisions.  What that means is, perhaps the Lady Domina sailed after the big storm hit South of the Azores.  Under any circumstances, it would mean crew have been out there for less time than most people think.  

The problem with second hand reports, "I heard from that guy who heard from that girl" is mostly, they are unreliable.  The problem with first hand reports is, we need to hear it at least two times from two independent sources to consider it good information.  Ohh, don't misunderstand.  It is a potential major break in the case of the missing yacht.  We just wish we could confirm it.

We have been flogging the community for any information, any person who knows the sailors, on hope we could verify the exact detail like this one.  Did the crew go ashore their last night in port?  If so, who did they talk to?  We also would like to know everything we can about all of the crew on board Lady Domina.  Sometimes you get a clue by learning about the crew.

We also got some disconcerting news, first hand, about the integrity of the Lady Domina.  The news wasn't specific, as in "this is a problem".  Rather the news was general, suggesting if things were not completed in a seaman-like way in one area of the boat, then the entire boat might be suspect.  Any sailor knows, that can lead to many problems.

Finally, we received two reports which were jaw dropping about a potential specific problem.  We don't know whether this problem was resolved prior to the Lady Domina sailing.  If it wasn't then it could point to the exact nature of the disappearance.  Out of respect for the family members we have not spoken with, personally or by representative, we have decided to temporarily withhold the exact nature of the final problem.

Do you know anything about the Lady Domina or her Crew?  Please contact Tim Paynter for a confidential interview.

To sum up, this is what we have so far.
1.  We have a first hand report by Blue Pelican of a radio transmission from the Lady Domina NEAR PUERTO RICO on May 5th, 2013.  The authorities have the yacht leaving the area on April 5th, 2013.

>>Those two statements are conflicting.<<

2.  The authorities say they have no record of the call and it was the wrong call sign even if it was the "Lady Domina".

3.  Prior to that, we have the last known position leaving the harbor in St. Matin on April 1st, 2013.  For those of you who were racing for your wet suits to see if the LD sank at anchor, it looks like that theory, the longest of shots, no longer needs to be investigated.

4. On the 24th of April heavy weather struck the area where some suspect the Lady Domina should be if she left from St. Martin.  The weather was severe enough to cause the sinking of another yacht, the Grain de Soleil.

Yacht Grain de Soleil Lost 500 Miles South of Azores

5.  We have a first hand report from Kati Lee about the dire problem I alluded to.

6.  Some of the sailors on Lady Domina were fairly new to passage making and may not have had the skills to spot weaknesses in the yachts defenses, like the lack of an E.P.I.R.B.

We have suggested the following:

1.  This story is not in the American press.  Not every eyeball is necessarily trained on the horizon searching for either a black life raft or the Lady Domina.  When I am speaking about the English press, I am not speaking about the internet.

2.  It is out understanding search and rescue fleets won't launch a search until they know where to search.  Not being able to set off an EPIRB can lead to a delay in rescue.

3.  We have developed three to four first hand reports and one second hand report since starting our investigation.  Our ultimate goal is to develop one final report, a last position report, so the family can make an appeal to SAR to get out and start looking.

Kati Audrey Lee

4.  It is our suggestion the launching into the American press be done by a press release.  We should speak only of the first hand reports and leave the speculation out of the mixture.

     a) Why?  It is obvious to me, but the younger set may not quite have caught on.  Hard to believe, but not everyone is adept at the internet; not everyone reads the sailing threads; not everyone knows the name Lady Domina to search in the first place; this matter has not been published IN THE PRESS in English.

5.  We have encouraged the family members to make videos which we will put on the net to motivate more people to come forward.  Also, news is news today and nothing tomorrow.  To keep this story alive we need to have constant news, new angles.  Since we don't have a crew to talk to the next best thing is family.

6.  We have suggested a concerted, organized, launch on social media sites asking sailors to help us get the word out.  Why?

   a.  Because we want every eyeball out looking; and

   b.  On the rare chance the boat was hijacked, someone might spot it in their marina.

7.  If the Lady Domina crew are in a liferaft, then every second counts.  We encourage the families to launch their own search, just as the friends and family of the Grain de Soleil did.

8.  We have encouraged the reporting of all crew members and the yacht as missing to Interpol.

9.  We have suggested a family member or representative from every country become a sore thumb in the search and rescue networks of their a nice way, of course.  Daily phone calls, gentle prodding and we can develop a lead, more concerted prodding if necessary, are in order.

10.  Appointing one person as "search coordinator".

There have been many great suggestions from the community, including contacting shipping companies which travel the route, contacting home governments and encouraging the use of AMVER, and similar ideas.  A yacht is scheduled to leave for the Azores and unlike many yachts that may have traveled the area from any one of a hundred ports, this crew promises to keep a sharp eye out for the Lady Domina.

This is a point of view only.  It does not make me right.

Sheri Roopchard has asked for updates to be posted on her facebook page.

Tore Christiansen has asked to be notified about any development.  Tore is the person who brought the issue of the missing Lady Domina to the cruisers forum.

A word about hope. 

Love the song of the songbird
The singer of 400 voices
Love the color jade
and the aromatic perfume of the flowers
But love most, Love your brother, your fellow man

Never steal from a man his last penny.

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Enjoy Tres Garcias!

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(303) 233-2486

Do you know any of the crewmembers from the yacht Lady Domina?  Please contact Tim Paynter.  You might be surprised, the slightest detail could make a huge difference.

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