Third crew found on upturned hull

Two sailors are feared drowned after their 43ft catamaran capsized in heavy seas off Madagascar.

Quen Cultra and Joe Ttrykowski are missing after their catamaran capsized during the third leg of a round-world voyage, Cultra’s 43-foot catamaran Queequeg II capsized last Tuesday when it hit rough seas and 40-foot waves about 200 miles east of the southern tip of Madagascar.

The third man, Leo Sherman, who was rescued, said that ‘when they hit heavy seas before the ship capsized,’ Cultra was thrown overboard. ‘They said he was swimming toward the vessel and then a very large wave came and took him under and they didn’t see him again.’

Previously, Cultra had built a trimaran in his family’s backyard in Onarga, USA, sailed it down the Illinois River and took it around the world. For more than 3 1/2 years he visited remote jungle villages, took breaks absorbing cultures and fought dangerous storms. Cultra wrote a book about the voyage, ‘Queequeg’s Odyssey: A High Seas Adventure.’

56-year-old Leo Sherman of Gilman, Ill., USA, was found Thursday clinging to the hull of the vessel, a 43-foot catamaran called the Queequeg II.

However, according to the US Coast Guard, French Naval divers have given up their search after swimming into the capsized boat.

‘They did numerous dives into the vessel and were not able to locate anybody inside the boat,’ Petty Officer Stephanie Strivens said Friday from Miami. The Coast Guard station there received an emergency signal from the boat via satellite and alerted rescue crews on Reunion, a French-controlled island east of Madagascar.

Coast Guard officials say a private vessel pulled Sherman from the hull of the catamaran. According to the Coast Guard, Sherman said that after the capsize he and Strykowski spent the next day and a half in the vessel’s cabin before deciding that the water inside was rising too high and they needed to swim out.

Sherman said the two were attached at their waists by a rope, but he never saw Strykowski after they left the cabin.

Strykowski was born and raised in Chicago, and was the author of a number of books on diving and the environment.

He held a doctorate in environmental studies, and was the founder of The Star Thrower Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and protection of ocean wildlife.

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