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Old 09-22-2005, 06:23 PM   #1
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Default Missing yacht MOQUINI

A search fund has been launched for the missing yacht MOQUINI which was participating in the Mauritius to Durban Indian Ocean race.

If anyone can assist and for full details of the circumstances and efforts by the yachting fraternity please see the Indian Ocean Sailing Forum board at:


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Old 09-23-2005, 05:21 PM   #2
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Post copied from http://www.cruisingconnections.co.za/forum...asp?TOPIC_ID=71

Latest from the race website:

What We Know;

One of the last communications between Moquini and another yacht in the fleet was Tuesday 13th in the late afternoon, when Zeus overtook Moquini. Only hand signals were used (electrics?) and Neil Nocknell intimated that they had blown out all their spinnakers but were all ok.!

The last voice comms was at 22h40 (same day) between Graham Cochrane and his wife Denise via Sat Phone.

The Skygistics transponder on Moquini gave us a last positional report at 01h17 on Wed 14th, as 25deg 50'25"S, 47deg 44' 1"E. We know that conditions off Madagascar at the time she past through, were heavy but not too bad (25knts and 5-6m confused seas). The fact that the Skygistics transponder had stopped reporting was not seen as a problem as we were aware that Moquini may have experienced electrical problems and were sure that Kurt Ostendorf would get it up and running again.

The next comms from the yacht was a single EPIRB report of some 335milliseconds which simply gave us her 'ID'. This happened at 03h40, Friday 16th. It was an 'unlocated report' i.e., no co-ords were given. Also, no report has been received since. The EPIRB being used on Moquini, is a SAILOR model. It is designed to be kept in the cabin and deployed manually.

This activation will be either the manual switching 'on' of the unit via the pressing of a button, or the immersion of the EPIRB into water. However, in both scenarios, the EPIRB must be removed from it's bracket to gain access to (a) the switch, or ( enable the water activation points to work. If not removed from it's bracket, it will NOT activate. Therefore, it is a known that it was removed from it's bracket - just how, we can only guess. Why only one ID report from the EPIRB?

A possible scenario is that the yacht was in difficulty and one of the crew decided it was time to call for assistance... they would have removed the EPIRB and activated it manually, i.e. used the manual switch. At 03h40 in the morning the light from the bright strobe light would have alerted others to it's activation, perhaps causing them to immediately de-activate it until really sure about calling for help. This EPIRB can be switched off by depressing the button for 10 seconds. This may make some sense as the ID report of 335ms is only transmitted every 60 seconds, giving someone on board a full 50seconds to decide and action the 'deactivation'. In this type of scenario we believe the yacht is damaged, perhaps with a jury rig, and is limping to port but not in danger of sinking. There are other possibilities too, but the question remains... why did the EPIRB only report once?

<font color="blue">If you have an educated theory, you can email it to us HERE and it will come through to our Ops Centre. Please, only send us EDUCATED theories as we can not afford the time sifting through 1000's of 'what if' emails....</font id="blue">

We are documenting our progress and we know that the sport and pastime of yachting will definately learn from this experience. We have.

Again, Sailing KZN (SAS), with overall responsibility for this Search, thanks the RNYC and many individuals and organisations who have stepped forward to offer their expertise and assistance. To the individual donors, businesses, schools and clubs... we thank you for your total support and assistance.

(From the race website)

Post copied from http://www.cruisingconnections.co.za/forum...asp?TOPIC_ID=71
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Old 09-24-2005, 11:09 AM   #3
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 71

Not good reading... please keep us all informed on the situation. One can imagine the horror the yacht crew could be under right now... we all wish them luck

<font size="1">"Rumrunner"

Melbourne, Australia.

Web: https://www.sailblogs.com/member/rumrunner/?xjMsgID=5680</font id="size1">
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Old 09-25-2005, 06:41 PM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 24

Thank you Admin for keeping us informed on the search for the crew of the Moquini. One can only hope that tomorrow's air searches are successfull

New & Used charts, guides, pilots, flags, ebooks, etc., WORLDWIDE.

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Old 09-25-2005, 06:55 PM   #5
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There is a GOOGLE/EARTH image at:


This gives you a good idea of the relative region.

Keep praying!
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Old 09-27-2005, 03:56 AM   #6
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PRESS RELEASE (just received)


Monday 26 September 2005

Missing Yacht Moquini - Search Called Off

The search for the Missing yacht Moquini with six crew members on board has officially been called off.

This was announced in Durban this afternoon after the families of the missing crew members had met with search and rescue officials.

“It has been an exceptionally difficult decision to make” said Dave Claxton, Chairman of the race organising committee. “It’s a decision that Matthew Thomas, Richard Crockett and I made in the cold light of day having rationally and unemotionally sifted through every single shred of information we had, and objectively analysed it. Plus, we have consulted experts far and wide to see if there is anything we may have missed, or any stone we have left unturned - with the answer always being that everything possible has been done up to this point.”

The families have been understanding, and have requested that the following statement be issued on their behalf:

“We, the families of the missing crew aboard MOQUINI have not given up hope of the crew being found, and would like to acknowledge the incredible and selfless effort the rescue team has put in to finding our husbands, sons, and brothers. We would like to express our appreciation to the media for their responsible and sympathetic reporting on this search and rescue mission, and to the public at large for the wonderfully generous support of the RNYC MOQUINI Rescue Fund, and for their care, sympathy and support. We have been astounded at the support from school children who have donated their lunch money, to the corporate giants of South Africa who have supported us. Words just cannot express our thanks and appreciation sufficiently. With all our hearts we thank you

The six crew aboard MOQUINI are:

Graham Cochrane

Neil Tocknell

Michael Goolam

Kurt Ostendorf

Sheldon Dickerson

Mark Dickerson

Dickerson, Ostendorf and Goolam all sailed the yacht from Durban to Mauritius for the race which started on Saturday 10 September off Grande Baie, Mauritius.

“While the search may have been called off, we the search and rescue committee, will monitor things on a daily basis, and should any shred of new evidence come to light that requires us to send aeroplanes out to an area for a search, we will do so” said Matthew Thomas.

MOQUINI was officially declared missing on Friday 16 September when a very brief signal from her EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) was received indicating that she may be in some sort of distress. Complete communications had been lost with the yacht on Wednesday 14 September. It was not until the EPIRB signal was received was there any indication that they yacht may have been in any trouble.

Details of the missing yachtsmen:.......

See http://www.cruisingconnections.co.za/forum...asp?TOPIC_ID=71 for the full statement and crew details. This INDIAN OCEAN SAILING forum board has followed the whole search attempt.
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Old 02-09-2006, 04:23 PM   #7
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The upturned yacht MOQUINI has been found floating 500 miles offshore of the South African Coast. The keel appears to be missing.

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Old 10-10-2006, 10:51 PM   #8
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Default Yacht Moquini - official findings report on loss

The official report has been published regarding the disappearance of the sailing yacht MOQUINI and tragic loss of all the crew during the Mauritius to Durban race last year.

Full story....

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