The search for South Carolina Yacht Captain Brian Quinn was called off Wednesday May 7, 2008 nearly 48 hours after he was reported lost overboard by the crew of Tribal Attraction a 20 meter motor yacht anchored off of the coast of Corossol, near St. Barts.
St. Barts is the Americanized name of the island Saint Barthélemy best known as the long time hangout of singer, song writer and author Jimmy Buffett.
Facts surrounding Brian's disappearance are in question. While the Charleston Post and Courier reports a "three-day intensive air and sea search" local reports state that the search was in a well lit area that night and was scaled back after only five hours and was formally called off by local authorities after 18 hours.
The St. Barth Weekly has reported the following:
Search efforts to find a 42 year old American sailor missing since Monday evening were abandoned on Wednesday afternoon, according to the Cross Antilles-Guyana, responsible for rescue at sea efforts in the Caribbean and the local sector of the Northern Atlantic. “In spite of the great effort expended to find this man, the search was not fruitful,” said Cross director Aymeric De Marcellus on Wednesday. “The entire zone where he might have been found was swept by both aircraft and rescue boats, but without success. As of today, the chances of finding this sailor are extremely slim.
That is why we decided to abandon the search effort. Yet all boats in the area have been asked to keep an eye out just in case.”
The lost sailor was the captain of Tribal Attraction, a 20-meter motor yacht registered in the Marshall Islands. On Monday evening, the yacht was anchored in the port zone off the coast of Corossol, and the sailor jumped into the water when the yacht’s dinghy started to float away. It seems he suffered some sort of medical problem.
The crew tried to find him without success, before sounding an SOS. At 9:55pm on Monday, Cross Antilles-Guyane received the call for help and forwarded it to the Capitaine Danet, the rescue station boat in Saint Barth, and to the Notre Dame de la Garoupe, the rescue boat from the Dutch side of Saint Martin. The island’s gendarmes conducted a search on land, while the customs service boat, the DF 24, joined the maritime efforts during the night. Stopped at approximately 4:00am, the operation began again at dawn.
The search effort was conducted by air, by sea, and on shore, using the civil safety helicopter, a Dutch airplane, the SNSM boat from Saint Barth, the boats from the port and the gendarmerie, as well as fireman, volunteers, divers, and private citizens who all patrolled until nightfall on Tuesday.
The search continued on Wednesday morning but was abandoned by early afternoon on Wednesday. The Cross Antilles-Guyana estimated that there are between 10 and 20 such operations annually in the large zone it covers a surface of almost three million square kilometers.
There is also a discussion at St. Barts Talk an online forum.
Need a picture view of St. Bart's? Check out Steve and Lili's picture posts from the Annual Bucket Regatta here.
This is a developing story and is subject to change as more facts become known and clarified. Life Floating By would ask that anyone who can correct or update the above story please do so by posting a comment.
My prayers asking God's comfort for Brian's family and friends.