Thursday, May 17, 2012
As reported Tuesday, a boat found floating off the coast of the Grand Strand was believed to be a vessel that went missing from the Bahamas.
Surfside Beach Police Chief Mike Frederick says preliminary inquiries show that is indeed the case.
The preliminary ID was made based upon partial hull markings, and should be confirmed sometime tomorrow.
The large piece of the racing catamaran was first spotted about a mile offshore from Murrells Inlet Tuesday afternoon but drifted northward to the Surfside area before it was recovered at about 7:30 p.m..
Frederick said his department worked along with the Coast Guard to identify the boat.
“Our primary focus tonight was to get it out of the water so as to eliminate it as a navigation hazard,” Frederick said.
Partial hull markings found on the boat were used in making the identification.
“The wreckage appears to be one of the outrigger pontoons from the 50-foot racing multihull yacht the Région Aquitaine - Port Médoc, lost at sea during a storm approximately 1000 miles east of the Bahamas in December 2010 while being skippered by Lalou Roucayrol,” Frederick said. “Roucayrol was delivering the boat back to his native France after completing the Route du Rhum race. According to media reports at the time, Roucayrol and his crew of three were rescued.”