Monday, May 09, 2005
The U-S Coast Guard is searching for two men who abandoned their boat about 400 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach early this morning. Coast Guard spokeswoman Petty Officer Krys Hannum says the search is continuing for Thomas Tighe of Patterson, New York, and Lochlin Reidy of Woodbridge, Connecticut. They abandoned their 45-foot sail boat, Almeisan, after it began taking on water from 16- to 20-foot seas. Three other sailors, Donald Burd of Dover, New Hampshire, Christopher Ferrer of Sterling, Massachusetts, and Kathleen Gilchrist of Bloomfield, New Jersey, stayed aboard. Hannum says they were removed from the boat about 7:30 p-m and taken to Nantucket, the closest land point. An electronic beacon sent a distress signal to the Coast Guard just after 6 a-m. The sailors were on a voyage from Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Bermuda when they encountered the severe weather, including 28- to 33-knot winds.
~*~ UPDATE ~*~ The U.S. Coast Guard now says it is not sure if two men thought to be missing actually are, but crews are searching just in case. Coast Guard spokeswoman Krys Hannum says there may have been miscommunication earlier when two sailors were reported missing 400 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. One C-130 airplane and a boat are searching for the two men. Another merchant ship is alongside the sailboat the men were believed to have abandoned. The Coast Guard originally said three sailors on board the sail boat told the rescue crew that two men abandoned ship and their life raft became dislodged from the boat. A life raft was found 50 miles away with no one on board. Hannum says one helicopter just arrived on the scene and another airplane from Clearwater, Florida, and another helicopter are en route. The sailors were on a voyage from Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Bermuda this morning when they encountered the severe weather, including 28- to 33-knot winds. The Coast Guard has asked that the sailors' names or that of the boat not be released pending notification of the sailors' families. Coast Guard C-130 airplane