On 14 December 2014 Anthony Murray (58), Reginald Robertson (59) and Jaryd Payne (a 20 year-old first-time sailor) set sail from Cape Town on a delivery trip to Phuket, Thailand. The luxury catamaran – a Moorings A5130, Sunsail RC044-978 was last heard from on 18 January 2015 via satellite phone and was 2190 Nautical Miles north-west of Peth, Australia.
They were scheduled to arrive at their destination on 2 February and were carrying enough supplies for 65 days.
The skipper Murray and his crew of Robertson and Payne had been employed by, or on behalf of Tui Marine (part of the Tui Group) to deliver the catamaran to its operators in Thailand. All contact was lost with the vessel during the time of Cyclone Bansi, a tropical cyclone that reached Category 4 status on the Saffir-Simpson Scale as it moved through the Southern Indian Ocean, in very close proximity to the vessel.
Following multiple attempts to establish the whereabouts and safety of their loved ones with the catamaran owners in the weeks immediately following the loss of contact, Moorings A5130 was reported missing to the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) in Cape Town by desperate family members on 11 February 2015.
The family members started a Facebook Group, a Tomnod crowd sourcing satellite image search campaign and a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to properly bring the yacht to shore for investigation and examination by authorities, as well as for any legal costs could that arise for the families. The Tomnod campaign was aided by the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre (JRCC) of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) which co-ordinated the official search and rescue for Moorings A5130 from early March and established the first drift pattern. The official search and rescue was handed back to Cape Town mid-April and was closed on 15 May.
Hope was raised on 21 May with the first reported sighting of an upturned hull by a passing ship. The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA), then began actively asking for the co-operation of ships passing through the updated area of drift.
On 21 June another sighting of the upturned hull was reported 552 Nautical Miles from Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean.
On 18 January the family were informed that the Brazilian Navy Ship Amazonas had spotted and photographed the upturned hull on 14 January 2016. This they had communicated to the SA Navy. The sighting was 113 Nautical Miles off of Cape Recife, near Port Elizabeth. SAMSA informed the family that they will not be deploying any recovery resources.
The family are now appealing for any sea going people to please look out for the hull and send photographic evidence that could positively identify the yacht.
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