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Ill. man rescued, another missing in Indian Ocean

2863 Views 7 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  bluwateronly
Ill. man rescued, another missing in Indian Ocean

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Rescuers have pulled an eastern Illinois man from the Indian Ocean after the sailboat he was aboard capsized, and two other crew members remain missing.
U.S. Coast Guard officials in Miami say Leo Sherman of Gilman was rescued Thursday. That was two days after the 43-foot catamaran Queequeg (KWEE'-kweg) II went down about 200 miles east of Madagascar.
Russ Geisler, a spokesman for Illinois state Rep. Shane Cultra, says Cultra's uncle, Quen Cultra of Onarga, and Joe Strykowski (struh-COW'-skee), a marine naturalist from Crystal River, Fla., are still missing.
A Web site set up to chronicle the catamaran's planned two-year, around-the-world journey says Quen Cultra was a veteran sailor who built the craft.
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That's rough. I await details of the sailing conditions and the specifications of the homebuilt catamaran, although I think that it's either a rogue wave or a lack of experience sailing in certain areas that sees these things happening.

I wonder if they were clipped on to the boat? Or had a liferaft?
From the Chicago Tribune:

Searched called off for Illinois seamen on world voyage

French authorities called off the search Friday for two veteran seamen with Illinois roots who were missing 200 miles off the coast of Madagascar after their boat capsized this week, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Quen Cultra of Onarga, Ill., and Joe Strykowski, who was born and raised in Chicago, were last seen by their shipmate who was rescued by the French Navy on Wednesday morning, said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class James Harless. Leo Sherman of Gilman, Ill., was found clinging to the overturned vessel, a 43-foot catamaran named Queequeg II.

The crew had been nearing the end of a two-year, around-the-world sailing voyage when the capsule encountered bad weather in the Indian Ocean, Harless said. On Monday, someone activated the vessel's electronic positioning radio beacon, which sent out a satellite signal of distress to the U.S. Coast Guard in Miami, where the device was registered.

Divers searched for the two missing men Friday, said Strykowski's daughter, Nicole, of Oregon state, but their efforts turned up nothing. She said her family is distraught over the decision to call off the search. They hold firm to the belief that her father could be alive.

"This is not your average man lost at sea. This is someone with a really good shot of surviving," she said, adding that her father always stressed safety first.

She said Cultra and her father have been friends for 40 years.

Strykowski, 76, who lives in Florida, is the author of a number of books on diving and the environment. He holds a doctorate in environmental studies and is the founder of The Star Thrower Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to the preservation and protection of ocean wildlife. His daughters said he grew up in Portage Park and has always considered Chicago his home base despite his extensive travels.

"He lived his life on boats and in the water," Nicole Strykowski said. "He's an adventurer."

Cultra, 69, was also strongly drawn to the open sea. In 2003, the Tribune wrote about him and his adventure sailing around Cape Horn off the coast of South America. In the 1960s, he built his own boat in the barnyard of his family farm and sailed around the world. He wrote about his journey in a book "Queequeg's Odyssey-A High Seas Adventure."

Nicole Strykowski said her father and Cultra began their latest adventure in September 2007 and had tentatively planned to return to the United States this summer. The Web site ... chronicled the trip.

"If anyone could make it out of this situation, these men could," Nicole Strykowski said
Really sad, a daughter of one of the missing crew was posting on some other boards asking if anyone in that area had any information about her father. Was gut wrenching.
I bought a book for fifty cents the other day from our local library. It's entitiled Queequeg's Odyssey, and is authored by Quen Cultra and is the story of his first circumnav in the sixties. I opened it up to find that it was signed by Quen himself! When I was looking at the book, it didn't occur to me that he was one who perished in this tragic accident. What a stroke of irony, or luck...whichever!
How long before they give up looking for you? Seems they gave up pretty quick I am sure everything that could be done was. So sad, something must have happend so they could not stay with the boat, did it sink, I thought cats would remain afloat when they go over. My heart goes out to the family and loved ones.
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