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