52-year old Paddy Macklin left Falmouth, Cornwall in mid-December with a goal to sail the globe the old fashioned way. Choosing to set sail sans any corporate support or high-tech gadgets, Macklin funded the trip himself, packing 600 days’ worth of food and beverages.
He stayed in touch with family daily by using a satellite telephone. But just a couple weeks into the journey aboard The Tessa, his 27 foot yachts, former painter and interior decorator Macklin was not heard from. Believed by his family to have caught trouble off the west coast of France where violent storms were brewing, Macklin hadn’t contacted his family as normally scheduled, causing concern.
His worried family contacted the coast guard and a search operation was launched to find him. Spanish and French coastguards failed to make contact with him. An aircraft from Spain set out to search the last-known position of Macklin’s yacht, but came up empty-handed. The search was launched after Macklin radioed coastguards saying he was facing dangerous weather conditions 200 miles from the coast.
Meanwhile, Macklin had packed away his satellite phone to keep it from getting wet during the poor weather conditions in the Bay of Biscay. A former painter and decorator, Macklin even heard reports over the radio that he had gone missing. However, to protect his phone, he didn’t make any calls until late on Friday. The British Coast Guard search operation could have been avoided had Macklin purchased a simple location-finding device. Regardless, the optimistic Macklin stated his intentions are to “recapture the spirit of true amateurism in sailing”.
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