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US Coast Guard in Hawaii suspends search for Chinese sailor

Published 27/10/2016

Guo Chuan, a Chinese mariner, was attempting to set a solo sailing record from San Francisco to Shanghai (AP)
Guo Chuan, a Chinese mariner, was attempting to set a solo sailing record from San Francisco to Shanghai (AP)

The US Coast Guard has suspended its search for a Chinese man attempting to set a sailing record after a crew did not find him aboard his boat off the Hawaii islands.

In a statement Wednesday night, the Coast Guard said a crew from the USS Makin Island went aboard Guo Chuan's trimaran about 620 miles north west of Oahu and only found Mr Guo's life jacket.

Mr Guo was attempting to set a sailing record from San Francisco to Shanghai.

The 50-year-old "was a professional mariner with a deep passion for sailing. Our thanks to our Navy partners who helped us search for this vessel in a timely manner so far from shore in an attempt to locate Mr (Guo) Chuan. Our deepest condolences go out not only to his family and friends but also to his racing team and the sailing community," said Capt Robert Hendrickson, who directed the Coast Guard's search.

Mr Guo's boat, the Qingdao China, is adrift, and its main sail has been taken down, the Coast Guard said. The Coast Guard says it broadcast a warning to mariners to beware of the drifting boat.

Guo's racing team plans to cover the sailboat, the Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard located his 97-foot trimaran on Tuesday about 600 miles north west of Oahu.

Mr Guo was the first Chinese person to sail around the world in 2013, according to his website, guochuanracing.com.

He left San Francisco on October 18 to challenge the solo nonstop trans-Pacific world record. The current speed record for that journey is 21 days, and he was trying to sail from San Francisco to Shanghai within 20 days, the website says.

In Beijing, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that China's consulate general in Los Angeles had alerted the US Coast Guard in Hawaii when it learned that Mr Guo could not be reached.

Spokesman Lu Kang said Chinese diplomats had helped in the coordination of the search and continued to monitor the situation.

AP

Press Association

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