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Honduras, Gorda Bank: Missing sailor

by noonsite.com 30 Jun 02:55 UTC

In the early hours of 11 June 2019, two separate EPIRB activations were received from the S/V Salacia with only sailor Andreas Sipsakas aboard. Andreas is a 40-year-old man from Estonia on a passage from Jamaica to San Andres, Colombia. noonsite.com

His well-founded blue water sloop is, Estonian flagged, 10 meters in length, white hull with the name Salacia on the bow, white sail covers, blue dodger, and lee cloths, and a large solar array on a radar arch on the stern. He had a new self-activating Viking 4 person life raft aboard, and the vessel was equipped to sail around the world. I have also had a dinghy of some sort. Unknown if the life raft was in a canister of a valise. Andreas was in good health with no medical issues.

Equipment

The following is a list of equipment aboard his boat according to his brother:

His equipment:

  1. Drone DJI Mavic Air Fly More Combo
  2. Samsung phone
  3. LENOVA, model 80UD Laptop computer
  4. Gopro camera
  5. 21 "TV on cabin wall
  6. Yacht motor is a Yanmar
  7. VHF Radio Raymarine RAY 60 with hand station
  8. Two vhf radios (Handheld?)
  9. Inmarsat SAILOR sat system with antenna module
  10. Dingy motor Honda 2.3 HP
  11. Lewmar anchor screw 1000 w
  12. Solar panels 2 pcs 500 w combined
  13. Automatic raft Viking ocean for 4 person
  14. AIS Vesper Marine sender / receiver
  15. Raymarine plotter Axiom pro, with world ocean maps
  16. Second plotter Raymarine E80

Safety Equipment

Safety equipment by latest information:

  1. 4 automatic inflating Life vests 4 and 5-6 normal 5-6 PFDs
  2. Viking Ocean style 4 person Life Raft with automatic deployment
  3. Epirbs 2 pcs. Salacia and Bellatrix
  4. shooting flares or rockets 7 pcs
  5. Flares with bright light 7 pcs
  6. Dingy with motor...
  7. Fenders 10 pcs (different sizes)
Last Port of Call

His last known port of call was the first week in June when he was in Negril, Jamaica, which is a small town and beach resort on the western tip of Jamaica. It is unknown whether he was anchored or in some marina there.

He departed Negril, Jamaica on 06 JUNE 2019 for San Andres.

Situation

EPIRB # 1, MMSI 276 005 500, was activated on 11 JUNE 2019 at 0452 UTC (0052 Eastern Time) at position 14 53.6 N / 080 26.8 W.

EPIRB # 2, MMSI 265 656 570, was activated on 11 JUNE 2019 at 0540 UTC (0140 Eastern Time) at position 14 57.8 N / 080 23.4 W.

This general location is approximately 26 NM ESE of the Gorda Bank; 26 NM NNW of the Serrana Bank; 96 NM NNE of Providencia Island, Colombia. Water depth in the area is approx. 3600 feet to 6200 feet deep.

An investigation by the Estonian Coast Guard reported in the storms in the area at the time of the EPIRBs being activated. AIS signals at the time of the activation.

Upon EPIRB activation, USCG RCC Miami and RCC Estonia immediately began search and rescue operations. A nearby tanker ship, the CTG Magnesium, was diverted to the area and found one of the EPIRBs and oily life jacket approximately 4 hours after the EPIRB activation. The ship did not see a debris field which would have been present had the vessel collided with another ship and sank, nor were there any other vessels in the area. Also, the USCG dispatched an aircraft to search the area with negative results.

Action

This area off the Gorda Bank has been the scene of many pirate attacks in the past. Was S / V Salacia the victim of a pirate attack in the middle of the night?

What we need now are to identify other cruisers that have met Andreas Sipsakas aboard his SV Salacia in the past. We are not sure at this time where he had been prior to being in Jamaica. Any cruiser knowing this man is asked to contact Glenn Tuttle - Net Manager, Seven Seas Cruising Association HF Radio Service KPK at , or call US phone number 941-456-5070.

This article has been provided by the courtesy of noonsite.com.

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