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in distress

in distress

There is some fairly interesting info coming on about the Aegean Newport to Ensenada race tragedy. It appears that a distress signal from the yacht at 1:30 am, approximately the same time it was thought to hit the rocks, and the call came from the boat’s Spot tracker, which offered no location information about the signal. It looks to have generated some controversy and Practical Sailor offers up this:

Sometime around 1:30 a.m. on April 28, the SPOT device owned by Theo Mavromatis, the registered skipper of the Aegean, sent out a distress signal that was received by GEOS Alliance. According to one person I spoke with who is familiar with the incident, “there is no question that this was a distress signal sent by a person.”

Although the distress signal had no position data, Mavromatis had programmed the device to report his position every 10 minutes so that family could track the boat. Shortly after the distress signal went out, Mavromatis’ wife, Loren, received a phone call from GEOS Alliance. She was asleep, so the report of the distress signal from her husband’s SPOT went to voicemail. For several hours after that, it appears that there was no effort made by the monitoring agency to contact the U.S. Coast Guard or to confirm the distress alert, even though boat’s track clearly indicated trouble. Read on.