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Defiant Boarded, Lawson Not Onboard


  • Defiant Boarded, Lawson Not Onboard

    Mexican authorities inspect capsized sailboat in Pacific, find no signs of Donald Lawson aboard; search for him continues

    Mexican authorities have inspected Donald Lawson’s capsized sailboat in the Pacific Ocean, but did not find him aboard, according to a statement from Ray Feldmann, who is serving as spokesperson for Lawson’s wife, Jacqueline.

    Jacqueline received an email from Mexican authorities Friday morning that Lawson’s sailboat was located and that it was “found without any crew members on board or anywhere in the vicinity of the boat,” the statement said.

    Since acquiring a 60-foot trimaran in March 2022, Tori and Donald Lawson worked to ready the vessel for a circumnavigation attempt.

    Lawson, a Baltimore sailor who had been preparing to sail alone around the world, set out from Acapulco, Mexico bound for Baltimore earlier this month but lost engine power. He last communicated with his wife on July 12, she said in a previous statement, and Mexican and American authorities have been searching for his sailboat and for him for the past week. His last known position, on July 13, was about 300 miles south of Acapulco.

    His boat had been spotted Sunday from a Mexican plane, but Thursday night was the first time a ship was able to locate and approach it. There had remained a possibility that Lawson was inside the capsized boat, but Mexican authorities evaluated it and determined the sailboat was, indeed, Lawson’s and that he was not aboard.

    Because of the Mexican authorities search, the Coast Guard cutter Active, deployed this week to help in the search, did not inspect the sailboat. Instead, it is continuing to search the ocean for any signs of Lawson, said Coast Guard spokesperson Hunter Schnabel.

    “You can keep on going for a long, long time in survival scenarios,” said French sailor Conrad Colman, who has completed three circumnavigations, including one solo.

    However, it is challenging to survive under such conditions.

    Lawson last year acquired a 60-foot trimaran which he named Defiant. The sailboat is an ORMA 60, a classification of trimarans that are fast but also extremely difficult to handle, sailors say.

    He had been on the West Coast with the boat and was planning to sail it through the Panama Canal to Baltimore, where he’d planned to embark on a record-setting solo circumnavigation of the globe.

    “Jacqueline Lawson remains hopeful that her husband will be located and returned home safely,” Feldmann said in a Friday statement.

    Baltimore Sun reporter Dillon Mullan contributed to this article.


    Last edited by Photoboy; 07-28-2023, 10:24 PM.
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