The cruise ship Eurodam came across an orange life raft floating within the search grid where the Lady Domina, a 75 foot home-built motorsailer, may have disappeared. A passenger aboard the ship took a picture of the raft. At the time no one knew the Lady Domina was overdue.
Photo of the raft taken by tourist on the Eurodam
Photo courtesy of Dagablat
No effort was made to retrieve the raft or put a boat into the water to check the raft. However, when the passenger got home and heard about the missing sailboat he reported the event. The above picture is of the raft in the water.
Photo taken by friend of the Lady Domina, Left. Dagablat circled the life raft canister high above the aft of the Lady Domina
It is unknown whether the Eurodam, part of the Holland America Fleet, notified authorities as they were required to do. It is also unknown whether the raft belonged to the Lady Domina. The ship was between the Azores and Malaga when the raft was encountered.
Eurodam in port
Reports by people who knew the Lady Domina indicate the raft lashed to the decks was "black". The Lady Domina raft was in a canister on a rack high about the stern of the 75 foot yacht.
"I find it incredible the captain of the Eurodam did not retrieve the life raft so authorities could check for identifying marks," said Tim Paynter, an attorney in Denver, Colorado. Paynter is one of several people volunteering to help Norwegian born Tore Christiansen, who brought the story to English internet boards on behalf of the family of Lady Domina crew member Andres Mosteid.
"I realize stopping a ship this size is difficult and expensive," Paynter continued. "However, by not stopping, the captain leaves questions in the minds of family whether the raft belonged to either of two missing sailboats. Now what are they going to do? Send a search team for a liferaft?"
Rafts are often blown off of cruise ships when they encounter high winds and weather. According to the newspaper Dagablat, the raft was "apparently" empty.
"Perhaps Holland America, with it's wealth of resources, can send a small ship to search for the raft," Paynter suggested. "At the least, perhaps they can help fund a search for the two missing boats." Paynter continued.
Another sailboat, the Grain de Soleil, encountered problems while crossing to the Azores. The boat reportedly "sank" in heavy weather. Satellite views of wreckage which resembles the Grain de Soleil reveal a hull which appears to be shattered by collision, though no one really knows. Efforts to find the three man French crew have been unsuccessful. It is possible the raft found by the Eurodam belonged to the Grain de Soleil.
Families representing the missing crew are hopeful but concerned.
IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ON THIS MISSING BOAT, PLEASE REPORT IT HERE. WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY PHOTOGRAPHS, VIDEOS AND PERSONAL ACCOUNTS. We are especially interested in any sightings of the Lady Domina in Puerto Rico, and of course, when she is found!
Please also report any sightings of this yacht to Tore Christiansen.
The Cruisers forum has an active discussion about the Lady Domina.