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Coast Guard searching Pacific after finding unmanned sailboat 'Black Sheep'

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  • Coast Guard searching Pacific after finding unmanned sailboat 'Black Sheep'

    An unmanned sailboat discovered Thursday off the coast of Central California launched a statewide search by U.S. Coast Guard units for anyone who might have fallen off or abandoned the damaged vessel.

    At around 11:15 a.m., Coast Guard Station Channel Islands received a report from a cruise ship of a damaged and unmanned 26-foot sailboat about 70 miles northwest of Point Conception.

    A "Mayday" call was received by the Coast Guard in the vicinity of the abandoned sailboat at around 3 a.m., but a search helicopter investigating the call found nothing, according to the Coast Guard. Officials could not confirm if the distress call came from the abandoned vessel.

    The white single-mast sailboat, named Black Sheep, reportedly set sail from Monterey Bay on Monday. It is registered to Felix Knauth. The Black Sheep's sails were set but torn when the Coast Guard reached it Thursday.

    Search teams from Los Angeles, Newport Beach and Sacramento searched about 8,000 square miles of open ocean without finding anyone who may have fallen overboard or abandoned the ship in distress.

    Anyone who might have knowledge of the Black Sheep that could assist the search and rescue effort is encouraged to contact the Coast Guard in Alameda at (510) 437-3701.

    Boaters are reminded to set sail with properly registered emergency positioning equipment on board and to file a float plan with a friend. ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~

  • #2
    I just put something up on my examiner column to see if maybe one of my tens of readers knows anything to help.
    How we survived the Pacific Cup


    • #3
      Weird...can't be that many Felix Knauths out there with a boat named "Black Sheep".

      This story has him @ 78 and living in Missoula Montana.
      Stay in the car and don't play with the radio.


      • #4
        The Coast Guard suspended its search on Friday.

        BTW EVK4, why isn't there a link to your blog on Pressure Drop?
        I don't think many sailors are aware of it.

        I did link you from HERE


        • #5

          Felix Knauth, 80, set sail from Monterey aboard his newly acquired Santana 22 in the early morning hours of May 12. The following day, his unmanned Rose was found adrift off Pt. Conception. The Coast Guard reports scouring 8,100 square miles for any sign of Knauth before suspending the search on May 14.

          Normally stories such as these — thankfully few and far between — leave us with little information about the victims themselves. Their families are devastated, and the last thing we want to do is compound their grief by bothering them for details. But Felix Knauth's life was far from 'normal', so it shouldn't come as a surprise that his family was eager to tell his inspiring story.

          "My dad survived polio as a child, so he was always shaking his fists at the fates," Knauth's son Rick told us today. A meticulous planner and avid adventurer, the elder Knauth spent his life climbing mountains, crossing oceans, and helping others. "He was tremendously intelligent," said Rick, "but he always worked in the non-profit and NGO arena. He chose altruism over money."

          Look for Knauth's full story — from his days of climbing one of the Golden Gate Bridge's towers to his doublehanded Atlantic crossing to his work with the Peace Corps and Oxfam America — in the June issue of Latitude 38, scheduled for delivery on May 28. In the meantime, join us in bidding farewell to this fascinating sailor.