Alison Cooper sold her own yacht while in South Africa to join Barry Garnett on his yacht Tiana on a voyage which was to take them into the Roaring Forties to pick up the prevailing winds to carry them across the Indian Ocean. They were due to arrive in Fremantle around May 1st.
Search and rescue authorities in both countries are attempting to locate the yacht without success.
“Unfortunately, our enquiries with next of kin for both parties onboard and port checks in the region have produced no information regarding the yacht or her crew,” said Craig Longmuir, Senior Search & Rescue Officer (Maritime) RCC Australia. “We continue our broadcast to shipping in the area to alert any transiting vessels.”
“I can confirm that Ile de Amsterdam, Ile de Saint Paul, Kerguelen and Crozet Islands have all been checked but there have been no reports of the Tiana,” he told the Zululand Yacht Club (ZYC).
ZYC Commodore Steve Martin expressed concern on behalf of friends of the popular couple, who spent the past three years in Richards Bay. “Rather than travel the traditional shipping route via Madagascar, to avoid piracy they chose to head due south close to the ‘Roaring Forties’ (latitude 40 degrees) before making eastwards for Australia. This means they are not in shipping lanes and are also in very cold conditions which are physically demanding. Their food and water situation is a worry and with each passing day, hope diminishes, but there are positives.”
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