Sunday, June 9, 2013

To All Ships In Area St. Martin to the Azores Lady Domina




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Something tells me we will soon find the missing Lady Domina.  If she left Puerto Rico around May 5th, as we suspect, she could pull into port any day now.  That is under our "theory number 2".



Geir Mosteid, father of missing sailor Anders Mosteid


The Lady Domina is a 75 foot home-built motor sailor.  She departed St. Martin March 31st, with a final destination planned for Norway. Some relatives were apparently told the trip would only take about 15 days to the first stop in the azores.  If true, that put the yacht way late, over 60 days out.

Some controversy has arisen over the route the large sailboat took.  At least some of the crew were under the impression the boat would make directly for the Azores after leaving St. Martin, an Island South of Puerto Rico.  However, a fellow sailor aboard a boat called the Blue Pelican says he overheard one half of a VHF radio conversation on May 3th, 2013.  Blue Pelican heard the San Juan Coast Guard talking to Lady Domina regarding weather.  


Lady Domina Before March 31 Departure

Unfortunately, Puerto Rican Coast Guard does not keep track of yachts calling only for weather reports.  The sailors aboard Blue Pelican don't claim to have seen anything, only overheard someone using the Lady Domina name.  However, another person claims talking to Kati Lee, the only female crewmember aboard the yacht.  According to that sailor, Kati said they were going to Puerto Rico First.  He did not believe the Lady Domina was going to put into port there.

We know Lady Domina WENT to Puerto Rico.  There is a Coast Guard Log of it's departure from San Jose on April 4th, 2013.

That was news to the girlfriend of Brian Fritzner.  According to Helle, Brian had no idea Puerto Rico was to be the next port of call.  We appreciate her assistance in putting together possible time lines and relating to us what a wonderful person Brian is.

Perhaps, Puerto Rico was not mentioned to the crew because the yacht's captain, Norwegian skipper Ovyn Slettvold, never planned to stop there.  Rather, it may be, the skipper wanted to test his crew and boat out before heading into the deep Atlantic.  It could be there was concern for growing weather which eventually took the life of sailboat Grain de Soleil.



No matter the reason, a trip via Puerto Rico provides the best scenario for the missing 5 member crew.  In fact, it puts them right on target for an arrival in Denmark or Norway.  That presumes the May 3rdth intercepted radio transmission by Blue Pelican was of THE Lady Domina.  How many Lady Dominas are there?

Unfortunately, rather than continuing open discussions and keeping the Lady Domina a popular topic, a strange silence has developed on the Cruiser's Forum.  We can't put our heads together if people are not forthcoming with information.


We prefer to be positive, another reason we prefer the Puerto Rico theory number 2.  However, the theory has a few loose ends.  Where did the Lady Domina go between April 04 and May 3, 2013?  Better said, why didn't the crew contact loved ones by phone or email during that period?

The answer could be quite simple.  Perhaps the Lady Domina ventured into the heart of the Atlantic, hit yukky weather, and returned to Puerto Rico.  Perhaps they made just enough time to refuel and reprovision before taking off and were not able to make calls.  Perhaps if they went to Puerto Rico they never stopped at all.

All of this is one big "perhaps" because no one has reported seeing the Lady Domina since her departure from St. Martin.  Part of that problem might be as a result of not getting the story into the English press.  As a result, most English sailors don't know the yacht is even missing.  While we have been vocal on the internet, along with other bloggers, and the Cruiser's Forum has been a great source, getting the story into English speaking newspapers would have been more effective.  The story was well covered in the Norwegian and the Danish press.






For example, supposing you knew the name of the over-due boat, which few people know, a search by boat name reveals results mostly unrelated to boating, and frankly, not appropriate for a G rated audience.  If one searches for "sailboat" Lady Domina, as Bill Dietrich pointed out, much more pops up.  However, few people heading to the Azores or cruising  Norway are checking for "missing sailboat Lady Domina".  Rather, most are searching for "best anchorages", "best route", "weather" and things of that sort.

We can't fault the decisions being made.  If our Puerto Rico theory is correct, a private search would be a big waste of money.  Perhaps better said, it would have been an insurance policy with a poor prospect for payoff.  Search and Rescue authorities knew exactly where the Emergency beacon went off for the Grain de Soleil.  It sank while in the Atlantic at the same time and in about the same place the Lady Domina was scheduled to be under theory number 1.  Yet, SAR was unable to locate the missing crew.  With no EPIRB sounded, how would one know where to begin a search?  As a result, we understand why our advice to form a private search and at least start raising funds for that caliber of search, was not well received.  Besides, where would you start a search?  Maybe Puerto Rico would be a great first start!

With the alarm sounded, ships en-route from St. Martin to the Azores have been instructed to keep a tight lookout.  It does not appear ships traveling from Puerto Rico to the Azores have received the same instructions.  

We also like our second theory better because increasingly more witness testimony supports it.  This is a big cross word puzzle of sorts.  We are trying to fill in the missing pieces of a crossword puzzle called Everyone comes home safe'. 




Theory number 2 is realistic. We maintain the greatest of hope the missing crew will soon be reunited with great stories to share.  When that happens, and we think it is going to happen, we hope after the crew shares with their loved ones, they, and all of the people who have been working so hard on this puzzle, share with all of us on the Cruisers forum, too!

We tilt our hat to Tore Christiansen, who sounded the alarm in the American press and who has done a beautiful job putting pieces into the crossword puzzle called HOPE, to Briansfriends and Helle who have been helpful, and to all of the people on the Cruisers Forum Bulletin Board, who have offered great suggestions and expressed their best wishes for the missing sailors.



___________________________


STILL MISSING: We wish the best for:  
Anders Mosteid (27)
 Stian Abrahamsen (29)
 skipper and owner of the boat, Øyvind Slettvold (59), 
Dane Brian Fritzner 
(46) and  English Katie Lee (34).


_____________________________


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MORE NEWS COMING, IT IS HARD TO KEEP UP THINGS ARE MOVING SO FAST!  PLEASE STAY TUNED!






MARINE NOTICE:

MRCC

TO ALL SHIPS IN AREA OF ATLANTICC OCEAN - St.Martin to the Azores

SUBJECT DISTRESS RELAY ALERT / COMMUNICATION SEARCH

1. IDENTITY OF CASUALTY: S/Y LADY DOMINA

2. POSITION: BETWEEN ST MARTIN AND THE AZORES

3. SITUATION: NO COMMUNICATION AFTER DEPARTURE ST. MARTIN THE 1ST APRIL.

4. DESCRIPTION OF VESSEL: SAILING YACHT, 75 FEET, DARK BLUE/BLACK HULL, WHITE STRIPE, RED BOTTOM

5. PERSONS AT RISK: 5

6. ASSISTANCE REQUIRED: COMMUNICATION SEARCH ON VHF AND SHARP LOOK OUT. ANY INFORMATION REGARDING THE ROUTE AND ESTIMATE OF ARRIVAL TO AZORES.

7. INSTRUCTIONS TO SHIPS

- SHIPS ENROUTE ARE REQUESTED TO KEEP SHARP LOOK OUT AND REPORT ANY SIGHTINGS TO MRCC DELGADA
- SHIPS WITH OTHER VITAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE DISTRESSED VESSELS SITUATION ARE INVITED TO INFORM THIS RESCUE CENTRE ASAP.
- SHIPS ENROUTE ARE REQUESTED TO DO COMMUNICATION SEARCH ON VHF REGULAR BASIS

8. COORDINATING RCC: MRCC DELGADA
TEL: +351 296 281 777
Fax: +351 296 205 239
E-mail: mrcc.delgada@marinha.pt
---End Quote---

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