New attempt started as weather moderates

A team of Atlantic yachtsmen are making a search pattern of the sea area close to the upturned hull of a yacht believed to be that of the four missing British sailors.

The ARC Europe yacht Malisi (Outremer 64) has arrived in the area of predicted drift of Cheeki Rafiki.

Having sailed south of the rhumb line route from Bermuda to the Azores, to avoid the cut-off gale, Malisi altered course during the night, after conditions moderated, and made for the drift area.
Information on the location of PLB transmissions, possible hull sighting, and the predicted drift area was provided via Stormforce Coaching from US Coastguard (USCG) in Boston during last night.

This information has also been passed to the other yachts taking part in ARC Europe and currently on passage from Bermuda to Horta, Azores.

Malisi skipper, Patrick Michel, reported at 0835UTC today “The sun has risen and we are now in position 038-07N, 048-34.9W, doing 8kts towards the upturned yacht. 8.1nm to go, ETA 1000UT”. Once in the area he will start a search pattern based on analysis of the wind speeds, and swell direction on the last reported positions of PLBs and the upturned hull.

The ARC Europe boats were sailing much further south than Cheeki Rafiki , however, as the weather has now moderated, it may be easier for them to make a more northerly course. As the reported upturned hull is floating low in the water, it is a potential hazard to other vessels, and all yachts have been advised to maintain a good lookout whilst in the predicted drift area.

Information on the location and communications equipment of the ARC Europe boats has been passed to USCG Boston.

Jeremy Wyatt, of World Cruising Club, told YM: ‘We’re there to see what we can do even if it’s only to find debris. This accident has really touched the sailing community.’