PLEASE SEE ADDENDUM AT END!!!
My beautiful, wonderful, adventure-loving daughter Emily Klein is on a sailboat that had not checked in for several days. Please realize this does NOT mean something horrible has happened to Em. Only that something has happened, and hopefully she’ll turn up with a great story later this week. In the mean time, I really believe prayers make a difference, and I’d love for you to share and send this to anyone with contacts on these islands mentioned below to look for Emily and Nick.
She took a week leave from the boat she works on as a stew/mate to grab what she thought would be the adventure of a lifetime; And so she left the Turks and Caicos Islands on the 32 foot “Tara” on Thursday, February 19, bound for the town of Luperon, in the Puerta Plata Province of the Dominican Republic.
“Tara” is a Bristol 31.5 ft single mast sloop, renowned for its safety, and skippered by her owner, Nicholas Brown. Her last known location was Salt Cay, Turks and Caicos at 15:41 on the 19th, asking for a weather report, and stating that their GPS had gone down.
Although rough weather was forecast to be behind them, it might have caught up, if they didn’t make the speed they were anticipating. Salt Cay to Luperon is about 120-130 nautical miles, and at the slowest likely 4 nauts, should have placed them there by 20:00 (8pm) on Friday the 20th, unless bad weather or something else impeded progress. Its conceivable that the mast has even broken and they are drifting without much power from (or gas in) the tiny auxillary engine. So we continue to be hopeful and prayerful that they both are just fine.
We were under the impression that Emily would fly back from DR to T&C on Saturday or Sunday to be back at work on her regular board on Sunday night.
Having effectively lived on boats his entire life, 31 year old Nick Brown is an experienced yachtsman and sailor, and was extremely familiar with his boat and this route, although with the GPS down, just a few degrees off would have landed them onto Haiti, or other areas of the DR which might be much more dangerous than Luperon.
After resupplying in Luperon, Nick intended to stop in Puerto Rico, and then on to St. Thomas, where he had made arrangements to meet his mother Rita Hughes, who would fly in to meet him there on Sunday. She expected a call from him to confirm this, prior purchasing her airline ticket, on Sunday, before he left the DR.
She said he always calls to check in at ports-of call. Apparently neither of them nor the boat have checked in or passed through immigration at any of the ports we have contacted.
If plans changed for some reason, and they decided simply to sail directly to St. Thomas, it could be end of today (or even later, if equipment is broken) that they would arrive.
Again, normal boating events could certainly have happened to slow the expected progress.
The coast guard has been notified, and we’ve had numerous discussions with them. The area involved is simply too large to effectively fly concentric circles, without a recent last known location. The craft is fitted with a EPIRB device, designed to send out distress signals if submerged or manually triggered, and is used for triangulating location. No EPIRB signals have been sent out in this region during this period, which (I think) is a good thing.
What the CG has done is send out on “side VHF channels” a description of the boat and a request to report any sighting of it. These side channels would be monitored by most craft, and this only started this morning (Thursday), so hopefully will yield some positive information. The Tara would likely get this announcement also, and so would then know they are being searched for. They may have no idea their people are worried.
Lots and lots of people make this trip, and much more treacherous trips, in less sea-worthy vessels, so we continue to be hopeful. Thanks to the literally hundreds who have heard some version of this through the grapevine to tell me of their prayers. We are humbled and thankful.
Which brings me to the point of this entire post. My intent here is not to cause angst and hysteria to Emily and Nick’s family and friends, but to actually put the real facts out, and the strong likelihood that this will all end well. What can you do? Please continue to pray, and ask any prayer chains that you know of to do so. If you don’t pray, ask your mother to. Share this petition with everyone you know in a prayer chain.
If you have contacts in any of these islands mentioned, or in the Caribbean yachting community, please share this with them. I’ll post further information as I have it.
Instead of leaving a comment that you intend to pray, please just do it, right now, and only leave comments if you may have information useful to the search. Thanks, and Much Love.
Please know how thankful we are to all of our family and friends for the love and support you have poured out. Private yachts taking time effort and expense to search, islands governments, our own US Coast Guard, and our friends and family. Everyone did what they could, and for this will be eternally grateful.
I still have not spoken with Emily, but was just alerted by the authorities that they entered the Dominican Republic Port less than an hour ago. Apparently the seas and rough weather had caught up with them and sent them off course, and eventually ran out of fuel off the coast of Haiti, which is where they have been for the past three days. This, as you can imagine, is piecing preliminary bits of information together, and is likely to change as we get more information of their epic tale.
Thank you my friends. So Many Tears. So Much Love.
Dr. William Klein and Family
Dan Brown, Rita Hughes, and Family
hello poor dad of a yachtswoman! your daughter stands out to me as one of the toughest yachtie chicks i’ve ever met, i have no misgivings that she’s absolutely fine and will be SO embarrassed when she links back in and sees the fuss. she’s a legend.
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I’m not sure if this help at all or what has happened since this. I just got this message from a friend on their way back to florida from St. Maarten.
Yesterday I heard CG calling s/v Tara on vhf, sounded like they were getting a reply, but I couldn’t hear it as the S/V was out of range. That was off PR. Not sure if that helps, but I will keep a listen out
Arn, that’s news that made my knees buckle. Can you PLEASE get back with me with name of vessel that “possibly” heard this reply? CG NEEDS these types of info!
I posted this blog this morning and my friend Jamie Graham, mate aboard M/Y Relentless was the one who responded with that information. They were on their way past the USVI’s towards Fort lauderdale at the time he responded.
I have had no further communications from him and assume they are no longer in phone signal range.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.
If we hear anything more, I’ll be sure to pass the information on.
Will be keeping Em and all of you in my thoughts.
I’m not sure of the accuracy of this information but this was just posted on Facebook in one of the comment threads with this blog as the subject.
Just heard after a little unexpected stop over in Haiti they’re safe and sound in the DR
Hello. I live in the Dominican Republic and own a sailboat. We have a section of the Naval service there call, Ayudantes Navales, part of the dominican military, is a group that gets activated in this kind of situations. I send an email to Juan Carlos Porchella who is the director of this group…. They are super efficient sending help.
Juan Carlos Porcella
Auxiliares Navales Dominicanos
Edificio PIISA, Avenida Lope de Vega #19, Suite 101
Ensanche Naco, Santo Domingo, Rep. Dominicana
Cel. 829-846-6161 y 809-256-0074
Hope that this help.
Thank you so much. These messages allow me to take another breath.
From a TCI resident:Got some more info – this boat was tied up at South Side Marina where we are before they left Providenciales. According to some other cruisers here, his plan was to go straight to St. Thomas and bypass Luperon. This means they are not overdue yet.
Thanks conchyjoe, because this is in direct contrast with their last known transmission, from Salt Cay, which clearly said Luperon first. Clearly could have changed his mind, but not sure why we would have had such different departure info. thanks so much for the info, and PLEASE look for any more! Thanks!
Good Afternoon, Please contact Coast Guard Sector San Juan @ (787)289-2041 we have been investigating the whereabouts of S/V Tara and need all the info that we can get
Just posted the info above on cruisers_network_online, a cruiser site that covers the east coast and the Caribbean. That should be your best bet for a sighting. I asked that any reports be made to the Coast Guard. I will monitor and get back to you here if I see any responses.
I am heading the opposite direction (from virgin islands to the bahamas) soon, and will of course keep a good look out and will be monitoring VHF for info… however if you wish you can email my boat syamitie at gmail if you receive any other leads, if I can be of any help I or course will be… as you say though, no doubt she’ll turn up soon with an amazing story 🙂
I live in Vieques, Pr. We had to cancel charters on our 47′ mono hull sailboat yesterday and today because of the seas. The forecast does not look to improve in the next few days. There are FB pages for about every island in the Caribbean. I over see Vieques Cruisers and will try to share your post when I get home later today. There is Culebra Cruisers and St.Thomas Cruisers. My prayers are with your daughter and your family. Praying they are safe but unable to make any contact at this time.
I contacted my friend on Salt Cay. He’s going to inform the authorities there.
I am a sailor and I saw the post about your daughter on a Cruising World Facebook post. Just wanted to see if you were aware of the Caribbean safety and security net. The can send out a message to other cruisers to keep an eye out for the Tara. Here is the link:https://www.safetyandsecuritynet.com/boatwatch/
My thoughts are with you, hope they are fine!
Best wishes, Stacey
We at Tradewinds Radio just tried to go through the days and happenings in your story and map that against our marine weather report that we do each day. It seems to us that last weekend would have been pretty windy and wavy for a 31′ boat to leave salt cay, and this week would have been a bit calmer, but winds out of SE might not be too good either. If it were us, we might have stayed in Salt Cay all week and decide not to leave for Luperon until this Saturday night or Sunday when conditions are more favorable. That might be why you haven’t heard from them. They are hopefully waiting for the weather in one of the most beautiful places on earth enjoying themselves! We’re still praying nonetheless!!
Have sent article and photos to national media and weather TV outlets. Do you have a email / if they want to be in contact with you or family ?
St Thomas is 400 nm from Salt Cay which means that ETA (at 4 knots) should have been 23 February.
On checking weather GRIB’s, the passage would have been a beat into the wind (Easterly at 25 knots) so the passage will be quite a lumpy one.
I have checked all the listed distress messages for the area and only one over the past three days, 70nm, and well to the south of the Dominican Republic at 17°N 71°W.
As there has been no 406MHz, PLB or EPIRB, this can only be a good thing.
Best regards David S Wheatley [S/Y “Surabaya Girl” – Portsmouth UK]
Praying 🙏 for Nick and Emily. Nick is a great Captain and I am sure he will bring yacht home safely.
CLUB M.SEA (Formally Little Fighting Irish)
I am the previous owner of TARA and want to give you accurate information on the vessel. I sold TARA to Nick over 2 years ago in Norfolk, Virginia. TARA is a 1981 Bristol 32 (Much different than a Bristol 30 or 31). At the time of Sale she was not USCG registered but was registered in Virginia and displayed the Title Number “VA 9031 BS” at the time. I suspect Nick registered this vessel and the numbers are now different. Her Hull ID # is BTY003200581. She is an all white vessel with navey blue boot stripe at the waterline. Her Bimini top and Dodger are all White as well. If you need photos of the vessel or additional information please contact me.
Thanks Jeff. That all would have been crucial information with a different outcome. I am so very thankful that it is no longer needed.
Thankfully most of these “health and welfare checks” have positive endings like this one. Good reminder that cruising and schedules don’t always mix. Happy for you and your daughter that she’s safe and will undoubtedly have some great stories to share.
oh good. i prayed for all of you. blessings!
I am in Puerto Rico, the winds and the waves are unconsistent, its raining right now on the coast, they probably skipped PR and headed straight to St.Tomas, lots of sailing boats around here, they’ll be fine.
Thanks Pearl, but if you haven’t heard, they drifted into Haiti, then finally limped into the DR. Blessings!
Just managed to see this outcome, been thinking about it for weeks! Im so relieved for you all!!