Authorities discovered a capsized sailboat thought to belong to a Maryland sailor who had been missing for over two weeks off the coast of Mexico.
According to the Baltimore Banner, a Mexican search plane discovered what might be Donald Lawson’s 60-foot trimaran, Defiant, off the coast of Acapulco on Tuesday. However, bad weather is currently preventing rescue teams from reaching the capsized boat.
Petty Officer Hunter Schnabel, a spokesperson for the United States Coast Guard, told the Banner that a boat had been located and that investigators were seeking to obtain photographs of the boat from Mexican authorities.
Lawson, a seasoned sailor hoping to break many world records, was intending to sail from Acapulco to Central America’s west coast, via the Panama Canal, and back to Baltimore, according to his brother Quentin Lawson.
Donald started his sailing trip from Acapulco on July 5. Quentin claims that a storm four days later “knocked out one of the engines” on the Defiant.
According to Jacqueline Lawson, the sailor’s wife, Donald had equipment problems at the outset of the expedition. The loss of both engine and backup wind turbine power prompted the proposal that he return to Mexico.
Donald’s final communication came on July 13, when he was about 200 nautical miles from Acapulco. Jacqueline contacted the Coast Guard after not hearing from her husband for more than a week.
“I believe something happened at that precise moment,”. “It doesn’t make sense to turn out of the wind into the wind when you’re on the emergency route back.”
“We are not giving up hope and we remain hopeful of his return,” Jacqueline said in a statement released Tuesday, according to the Banner.
He is a seasoned sailor who is well-equipped to face the Pacific’s harsh weather conditions. We continue to hope that Donald will be located and reunited with his family, friends, and sailing fans.
Donald, who taught sailing for the United States Navy at the United States Naval Academy, claimed his interest in the sport began when he was a child: “When I was about 6 years old, my mother made me go on a sailing trip with Living Classroom Foundation in Baltimore, MD.”
They let me pilot the boat, which sparked my interest. Nobody could stop my passion for sailing once I got started.”
Donald explained his journey approach in a June 27 Facebook post, saying, “The first thing you need before doing a passage is an understanding of the weather patterns in your area for the time of year you are sailing in that location.”
“When it comes down to it, avoiding bad weather and no wind is my number one goal when heading offshore,” he continued.
“For my passage, we have our Automated Identification System (AIS), which tells the boats around us who we are and who they are,” Donald explained.
“We have an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) linked to satellites for rescue (), so local Coast Guards can find us.” Onboard, we also have a number of satellite phones that offer our Global Positioning System (GPS).”