The folks at Practical-Sailor.com are reporting someone on board the Aegean triggered a SPOT Messenger emergency alert that was received – and sort of ignored. According to Practical Sailor “there is no question that this was a distress signal sent by a person”, which means someone on board who knew there was trouble hit the emergency button.
The signal went to a private monitoring outfit called GEOS Alliance in Texas. Practical Sailor says the GEOS folks called Captain Theo Mavromatis’ wife – and left a voicemail message because she was asleep. GEOS did not attempt to contact the Coast Guard, according to Practical Sailor, and it was hours later befre other racers spotted the wreckage and called it in. EPIRBS aren’t perfect, but the notification system certainly appears more reliable.
US Sailing came to the blindingly obvious conclusion the Aegean hit one of the Coronado Islands based on the GPS track. The Coast Guard says it will wrap up its investigation in a couple of weeks.