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post #9 of Old 11-15-2010
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Here's the press release from Caribbean 1500:

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21st Annual Caribbean 1500 Rally
Monday, November 15

Cruising Rally Association announces crew member search and rescue mission is continuing for sailing vessel Rule 62, crew member, Laura Zekoll.

For additional information please contact: Rick Palm….207.354.0628

November 15, 2010…Cruising Rally Association (CRA), Hampton, VA…Steve Black, owner of Cruising Rally Association, announced today that crew member, Laura Zekoll from Atlanta, GA is the subject of a search and rescue mission by the US Coast Guard and the Bahamian Defense Force.

The news of the search was received by CRA mid-day on Sunday, November 14, 2010 from boat owner, Richard Ross. The emergency contact information for Laura Zekoll, was communicated to the Coast Guard who notified her contact that a search was in process. The notice of the search was shared with the fleet on Monday morning, during the radio check-in at 07:00 hours AST (Atlantic Standard Time).

The owners of sailing vessel Rule 62, Richard and Debra Ross, also from Atlanta, GA, communicated earlier that they were going to leave the fleet and divert to the Bahamas. During the Saturday 19:00 hours AST radio check-in, Richard reported that they were nearing the Bahamas. According to the satellite transponder provided by the CRA to each vessel in the fleet, Rule 62 stopped moving at 20:56 hours AST Saturday, November 13.

Black said, “with great sadness, we report that Rule 62, a Jeanneau 46DS, was swamped while attempting entry into the Bahamas. Richard and crew Laura Zekoll were washed overboard. Another crew member and Debra launched the life raft, which subsequently overturned in swells.” The boat is currently on a reef in the Bahamas. Boat owners Richard and Debra Ross along with one crew member were airlifted to safety after their emergency signal was received by the Coast Guard. The search for Laura Zekoll is still continuing.

The sailing vessel Rule 62, is part of a fleet of 71 sailing vessels, the majority of the fleet is still at sea. The fleet departed Hampton, VA on November 8, 2010 in route to the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. This is the 21st year of the annual passage.

Rick I
Toronto in summer, Bahamas in winter.

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