Families frantic as Leopard Catamaran remains missing – onboard Jaryd Payn
Statement on behalf of:
On December 14th, the catamaran, Sunsail RC044-978 set out from Cape Town harbour on a delivery trip to Phuket, Thailand. The delivery was on behalf of Tui Marine, a leader in the world maritime leisure business based in Florida, USA, with representatives in Cape Town.
On board is Anthony Murray (58), the brother of Jeremy and Philippa Savage and the skipper of the yacht. Anthony has over 25 years experience at sea, including multiple catamaran/yacht deliveries to destinations including Abu Dhabi, China, Austria, the Caribbean, the USA and more.
Also on board is Reginald Robertson (59), a member of the Royal Natal Yacht Club and another experienced yachtsman, as well as Jaryd Payne (20).
Communication from the yacht via an Iridium satellite phone was regular from the date of departure. This included regular texts from Jaryd to his mother in Cape Town and his father, as well as regular texts from Reginald to his girlfriend in Durban and children Storme and Jared who both now live in the UK. Intermittent texts were sent by Anthony to Philippa in Durban, Jeremy in Johannesburg and a friend in Cape Town. The last communication from the yacht on the satellite phone to family and friends was on January 18th.
Anthony also reported in regularly to Tui Marine’s representative in Cape Town. These reports were on December 17th, December 29th, January 7th and January 15th. The last reported position on January 15th was 29′ 55 S, 080′ 47 E with 2010 nm to go. The date of arrival estimated by the Anthony on that date was February 2nd.
On February 12th, the family of Anthony Murray reported his catamaran as overdue to the Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (MRCC) in Cape Town. The MRCC took the family’s concern seriously and was able to get details of the catamaran from Tui Marine’s representative in Cape Town. On February 12th an “all ships broadcast”, seeking sightings reports, was activated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). MRCC Cape Town informed Anthony Murray’s family that the broadcast was also going out in the maritime safety areas of Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and India.
In the nearly three weeks since then, the families have been in regular communication with each other to work towards establishing the whereabouts and safety of the yacht and her crew.
They have been joined in this by Matthew Thomas, an experienced yachtsman, who was the search and rescue co-ordinator of the civilian search for Moquini, a yacht that went missing during the 2005 Mauritius to Durban yacht race. Matthew is now acting as advisor to the families as well as to Tui Marine, which is also working with the families to locate the yacht. On February 6th, Tui Marine made contact with Iridium Satellite Phone Communications to establish if any outgoing attempts at communication had been made on the phone.
Following the broadcast sent out on February 12th, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority has been in communication with the South African MRCC. The family understands that from February 20th an urgent (every 12 hours) alert has been going out via Maritime Safety Authorities in Australia (including New Zealand), South Africa, Mauritius, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Thailand. Tui Marine has also made contact with the US NAVY 7th Fleet (which is currently in the region) to see whether it can assist and is in contact with authorities in Reunion, Sri Lanka and Sumatra.
It should be noted that the EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) has not been deployed as at March 1st 2015. Should the EPIRB be activated, Search and Rescue will begin immediately (although the exact nature of a SAR is dependent on the resources available in the area at the time). The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has informed the families that it responds to circumstances as they present themselves and that officers in its Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) are not constrained by the setting off of the EPIRB only. It has further stated that the urgent broadcast to shipping will remain until March 31st, when it will be re-evaluated.
The families of Anthony Murray, Reg Robertson and Jaryd Payne believe that, even without the activation of the EPIRB, there is real cause for concern given:
* The last communication with Moorings satellite phone was January 18th. Iridium has confirmed that the details of this call as – Date/Time: 2015-01-18 @ 11:11:03 ; Lat: -26.2999 Long: 80.0014 Area: Mid-Indian Ridge Region: Int’l Waters Approximately 2190mi NNW of Perth, Australia
* The Iridium Satellite Phone Communications company (based in the USA) has confirmed that there has been no outgoing activity on the phone since January 18th.
* The yacht was in the vicinity of Tropical Cyclone Bansi – this was indicated in a message from Reg on January 10th. Although the yacht did move south away from the cyclone, we have no confirmation that the catamaran was not damaged as a result of this.
* The estimated date of arrival of February 2nd is a month ago. In consultation with Matthew Thomas as well as another skipper who made a delivery for Tui Marine on the Cape Town to Thailand trip ahead of Anthony and his crew, this ETA was moved to between February 12th and February 27th.
* The yacht was officially carrying enough supplies for 65 days.
* The yacht has now been at sea for 79 days.
The families now believe that increased awareness of the yachts’ missing status is a necessity. Tui Marine is currently making approaches to a number of companies for a satellite facilitated online search party. The families support this move and would be grateful for any assistance from the public, private companies, government bodies and institutions to establish the safety and whereabouts of Anthony and his crew.
The concern for an overdue boat has now turned into real fear that Anthony Murray, Reg Robertson and Jaryd Payne are in need of rescuing.
* Philippa Savage – Anthony Murray’s sister – Durban