Sunsail has confirmed that it has selected a professional search and rescue company to search for the missing Sunsail Leopard 44 catamaran that vanished in the Indian Ocean in January

Earlier this week, the families of the South African crew  – Anthony Murray, Reginald Robertson and Jaryd Payne –  announced they were launching a crowd-funding initiative to search for the missing vessel after a container ship took photographs of an upturned vessel 600nm SE of Mauritius.

Sunsail said: “Nothing has yet been confirmed but it is believed at this stage that the upturned vessel might be the missing 444 catamaran yacht.”

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Sunsail was told of a second sighting on 5 June by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCC). “We were advised that the merchant vessel which sighted the upturned catamaran on 5 June was requested by the MRCC to attach a radar reflector to the catamaran. However, we were notified that very bad weather and sea conditions at the time (sea state 6, very rough, 4-6meter swells, wind NNE x 6/7), meant that it was too dangerous to attempt launching the ship’s boat to perform this task.”

On 6 June the vessel made an attempt to relocate the upturned catamaran “but this proved unsuccessful and no further sightings of the vessel have been reported since then in the area,” Sunsail said.

Working alongside the MRCC, Sunsail said it has selected a local specialist firm to investigate the area specified by the MRCC taking into consideration prevailing drift patterns and advised the families of the missing crew that an “observer” can be placed on board the search vessel “to accompany any exploration of the area where the upturned vessel was last seen”.

A Sunsail spokesperson told YBW.com: “Sunsail has been in regular contact with the families of the missing sailors and also the authorities.  It remains a priority for Sunsail to find out what happened to the missing boat and its crew.”

MRCC are continuing to alert vessels in the vicinity to look out for the missing yacht.

  • Patricio Mulhall

    Good to read something / someone is finally on the move. What’s the plan, what is ETA to the search area? Can we have some more details, please? Thank you.

  • Marsha Kirkness Miller

    Is this press release from Sunsail just a load of bull? Many of the public have asked Sunsail to name the response team and to publish the response team’s actual plans as to when they will travel to the area of drift, as established by the MRCC after the 6/5 sighting, how many boats, airplanes, will be involved, etc. Is Sunsail just patronizing the public and the families of the missing crew, by publishing such a press release and yet not revealing any details? Also, why the multimillion dollar conglomerate TUI-Sunsail did not act with a response crew immediately after the last sighting on 6/5, with a drift pattern established from the previous sighting in May? Is Sunsail just playing lip service to the entire world??

  • Emerald Teas

    Now that Sunsail have finally come out in the open to claim ownership of this search and rescue/salvage mission whatever they care to call it, why has it taken you sooo long? Why wait to be named and shamed into conveying your plans for rescue directly to these families? And what is your action plan for the 3rd sighting, is there one? Can you assure the families no expense will be spared or that they won’t have to fund any of it!?