MOB: The Search Continues
Published on October 11th, 2015
Oman Sail was established in 2008 to rekindle Oman’s maritime heritage, promote the Sultanate of Oman around the world through sailing and provide long-term learning opportunities for the youth of Oman. In just seven years, the program has made significant strides, among them the accomplishments of the Oman Sail flagship boat, the MOD 70 Musandam-Oman Sail.
The offshore trimaran broke the Round Britain and Ireland record by over 16 minutes in 2014, thrusting Oman Sail into the international limelight. In 2015, Musandam-Oman Sail also broke a 20-year record by completing the Round Ireland speed challenge in a new record time of in 40 hours 51 minutes and 57 seconds – shaving almost four hours off the previous time.
But now there is heartache. On October 7, Musandam-Oman Sail skipper Sidney Gavignet (FRA) reported a Man Overboard (MOB) off the coast of Croatia. Crewmember Mohammed Al Alawi (26) went missing in winds of 15-17 knots while en route from France to Trieste in Italy for the Barcolana yacht race.
As of October 10, the extensive search for Mohammed continues and the search area has extended into Italian waters; the search team has been a mix of Oman Sail, private search and rescue companies and the Croatian coastguard, using helicopters, airplanes, and boats including Musandam-Oman Sail. On this fourth day, inclement weather of strong easterly winds, limited visibility and rain was not conducive to a detailed search.