"but I want to see the actual data. It must be available."
Statistics are not kept of all events. Nor are statistics gathered, centralized, or standardized for all events. That applies to SAR, cellphone robberies, and drunks breaking their toes against toilets in the middle of the night, pretty much equally. (Really, ask at any hospital ER. Indoor plumbing and alcohol are a really dangerous mix!)
Consider if you will, the "simple" concept of examining USCG statistics for SAR missions. Ooops, that's already going to be a bad count, since there are National Guard SAR units on both coasts--such as the one that rescued Rebel Heart recently. That's not a USCG operation, that's a military SAR mission. Odds are, it wouldn't be part of the same statistics.
Little things like that (and how many of us even knew the US military had separate SAR operations on both coasts? Not to mention, various state police, harbor patrols, and other agencies?) tend to make statistics very misleading, unless someone has taken great care to standardize and centralize the data. Or, someone takes even greater care trying to compile it.
Then there are incidents like the seasick crew that got on a satphone and called in a USCG SAR--without the sailboat's owner/skipper even knowing about it. Is that a SAR? When the captain of the vessel is unaware of the call?
Someone might have the stats. You could try USSA and the USCG for leads, but you may have to roll up your sleeves. And then...well, would the Mexican Navy be operating off Baja? And the Bahamian Defense Force (let's not forget, the Cubans have also made rescues) on the other coast?
Roll up your sleeves, there's probably a magazine article to be written once you get done.
That's a very good analysis...
I think anyone who doesn't feel there has been an uptick in the frequency of abandonments sailing yachts in the last year or two is either in some sort of denial, or simply hasn't been paying attention :-) It's not that we simply hear about more of these incidents today due to the internet or social media, in my opinion. Now, whether the recent spate of such incidents represents a trend that will continue to rise, or simply a statistical anomaly of the past 2 years, remains to be seen... But, I challenge anyone to point to another time frame where we've seen the frequency of abandonments we've seen in recent memory...
Here's just some of what comes to my mind, I'm sure I'm forgetting some:
2 boats lost in last fall's SDR Rally, of course
The Swan 46 WOLFHOUND near Bermuda
The Canadian CS 36 abandoned after losing a rudder a few days out of the Cape Verdes...
Doug Sabbag's TRIUMPH
The Alpha 42 BE GOOD TOO in January
A trimaran off the Texas coast a couple of months ago
That Hunter found abandoned in the Gulf Coast, the YouTube video posted here
The Pearson 323 abandoned enroute to Bermuda and Europe last spring, that eventually fetched up on the beach on Martha's Vineyard
The 32' Aloha abandoned off the Florida Keys this winter, eventually grounded on Singer Island
The 50' Beneteau BLUE PEARL, abandoned after sinking NE of Bermuda 2 weeks ago
3 European sailors rescued near Sable Island last September on passage to the Azores
An AMVER rescue last November after the abandonment of the junk-rigged schooner EASY GO, which departed Nova Scotia bound for the Caribbean
Pretty certain there was at least one abandonment off Oregon/N Calif last fall/winter, can't recall the specifics
Those Polish morons rescued mid-Atlantic attempting to sail from Europe to N America in January 2013, if memory serves
These are just the ones I recall at the moment, given more time I have little doubt I, or others, could add to the list...
Sorry, anyone who thinks these purely 'anecdotal' numbers were being matched 5 or 10 years ago by sailors going to sea for pleasure, then punching out, is dreaming... :-)