The US Coast Guard has suspended the search for the final missing sailor from the Dauphin Island Regatta after scouring nearly 10,000 square miles of water
A search for the final missing sailor from the Dauphin Island Regatta was suspended last week after rescue crews scoured more than 9,527 square miles of water.
The news came after the bodies of three of the four missing sailors were recovered near Mobile Bay, Alabama, where the race took place.
A severe storm hit the US sailing regatta just over a week ago on April 25th, capsizing several boats.
More than 100 vessels and up to 200 people had been taking part in the 57th Dauphin Island Regatta when a squall hit the area.
In footage posted online, dark grey skies can be seen overhead as one crew battle against strong winds and heavy swells.
Describing the scenes to CNN, sailor Susan Kangal said: “It’s the worst storm I’ve seen short of a hurricane. It came out of nowhere and we had a call telling us to go ahead and put the jib up which we did.
“Lightning started popping, I sent all the crew below and I couldn’t get the main down. It happened so fast it just turned completely white, the boat almost capsized, we were probably about an inch from capsizing.
“Everybody was ready to jump, I didn’t have a lifejacket on, I grabbed the horse shoe and put it round my neck and I just held on. It’s the closest to death I’ve ever come.”
Two bodies were recovered from the water shortly after the incident, with five reported missing.
This number was brought down to four when one man was found at home after deciding not to take part in the race.
The bodies of Glenn Massey, 67, Adam Clark, 17, and Robert Thomas, 50, were recovered from the water during rescue efforts last week, taking the total count of fatalities to five.
After searching for more than 180 hours the rescue effort for the final missing sailor was suspended pending further developments.
Captain Duke Walker said: “All of us that have been dedicated to this search effort since Saturday’s tragic events offer our sincerest condolences to all the impacted families.”