Ghost boat spotted in the ocean. Can it be the one that disappeared with its crew in 2023?

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Ocean Bound

In recent days, a Norwegian Cruise Line cruise ship spotted a ghost boat adrift with a broken mast and no one on board. Shape and color are reminiscent of the Lafitte 44 “Ocean Bound,” whose crew disappeared on April 4, 2023 along the coast of Mexico.

The sea and oceans are among the most dangerous places on the planet. Exposed to bad weather, sudden storms and cyclones, far from land, full of danger. Those who venture into navigation know that today, as in the past, there is a risk of not returning. Despite technology, security systems, satellite communication.

And in fact there are thousands of sailors who go missing at sea every year. They are often workers, sailors aboard commercial or cruise ships, professional fishermen. But some of them are also passionate sailors, people who sail to travel, participate in regattas, or simply enjoy nature from the deck of a boat.

Ocean Bound

The cruise ship stopped near the ghost boat

Sailors who go missing at sea are rarely found. They fall out of the boat by mistake or distraction (it happens even to excellent skippers) or the hull itself sinks due to a breakdown or leak. In short, the ocean swallows them up and they literally vanish into thin air. Those who look for them, relatives especially, family members, friends, nevertheless do not resign. And even at a distance of time it keeps a light of hope of someday finding them lit. Or even just have some more information about what really happened. Then every sighting feeds that little light.

Recently for example, a cruise ship of Norwegian Cruise Line, a shipping company that organizes cruises around the world, reported on its Tik Tok channel that it had spotted a 12-meter sailboat drifting apparently with no one on board. The post is accompanied by a photo of the wreck. The cabin cruiser is dismasted, with mast stumps in the water and sails on deck. In general it seems in order, but it has evidently been drifting for a long time.

Ocean Bound

What if it is the Lafitte 44 “Ocean Bound”?

The ship’s captain said he stopped the course and stayed for more than 40 minutes near the hull, sounding signals to see if perhaps someone below deck came out. Eventually the crew of the Norwegian ship reported the sighting to the Coast Guard and resumed sailing.

The location of the sighting, as well as the name of the boat, are currently unknown. But the shape and dark blue color of the hull are very reminiscent of the Lafitte 44 “Ocean Bound,” whose crew disappeared on April 4, 2023 along the coast of Mexico. Aboard the boat were three U.S. sailors, the owner couple Kerry and Frank O’Brien and their friend William Gross, a 50-year-old professional sailor.

Kerry, Frank and William vanished into thin air

Departing from Mazatlán, Mexico, the trio wanted to reach San Diego, but planned to make a stopover in Cabo San Lucas after a few days to galley and get some rest. From one moment to the next, they cut off all communication and never arrived in Cabo San Lucas. At the time of departure, weather reports gave incoming bad weather with gusty winds and cross seas.

Alarmed by the absence of contact, the sailors’ family members alerted the U.S. Coast Guard, and the latter with the help of Mexican maritime authorities implemented a massive search and rescue effort involving planes, helicopters and naval assets for a radius of 200 miles. Unfortunately, despite the deployment of forces Kerry, Frank, and William were never found, and so Ocean Bound and April 23, 2023, the search was called off.

At present, that the “ghost” boat spotted by the Norwegian ship may be the Lafitte 44 “Ocean Bound” is only a faint guess. Maybe it is something else and the same crew has been previously rescued. This is also the cruise ship captain’s wish for that deep solidarity and respect that binds all sailors together. Anyone with further news or sightings of the wreck is asked to contact the maritime authority.

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