Coast Guard resumes search for missing sailors 1,000 miles east of Cape Cod

1st Coast Guard District NewsBOSTON — The Coast Guard has resumed its active search for four sailors approximately 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) east of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, at 7:38 a.m., Tuesday.

Watchstanders from the 1st Coast Guard District command center in Boston were notified at approximately 12:30 a.m., Friday, of two 406MHz personal locator beacons registered to the 39-foot U.K.-flagged sailing vessel Cheeki Rafiki.

The Cheeki Rafiki’s agent in the U.K. also told the U.S. Coast Guard the last message they received from the crew on Friday stated they were taking on water with four people on board. Multiple crews from numerous nation’s military branches and commercial vessels searched approximately 4,146 square miles for them.

At approximately 12 p.m. Saturday, the crew from the 1,000-foot motor vessel Maersk Kure located an overturned hull that matched the description of the Cheeki Rafiki, but no sign of the sailors. Rescue crews located small debris fields, indicating that search patterns were accurate, but there were no signs of life or a life raft.

The active search was suspended at 5 a.m., Sunday after two days of searching with no indication of surviving crewmembers.

Involved with or en route are crews from:

  • A U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, HC-130 Hercules aircraft
  • U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Vigorous, homeported in Cape May, New Jersey
  • U.S. Air Force C-130 aircraft, from Moody Air Force Base, in Valdosta, Georgia
  • Canadian military C-130 aircraft
  • The 672-foot motor vessel Premium Do Brasil
  • The 751-foot motor vessel AM Hamburg
  • The 600-foot motor vessel Bow Flora
  • The 477-foot motor vessel Chem Venus
  • The 551-foot motor vessel Independent Accord


The 1st Coast Guard District covers from New Jersey to Canada with search and rescue duties extending approximately 1,300 miles from shore. Units across the Northeast conduct more than 2,500 search and rescue cases in a year, and rescue more than 300 people.

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