A close friend of five of the sailors of the ill fated Hong Kong yacht says he has dismissed reports about a sighting of debris and a body in the waters off the coast of the Philippines.
Jerry Rollin said ongoing search and rescue operations have yet to turn up new information on the whereabouts of the missing yacht and the four foreigners and one Filipino aboard.
“Nothing has been sighted yet. There have been various rumors that boats and people and lifejackets have been seen, but I’ve been in touch with the Hong Kong rescue center who is actually doing most of the searching and they confirmed that they have not confirmed anything yet,” Rollin said.
Rollins added that the only thing for certain so far is the intensity of the search efforts to find the missing passengers – even after losing the signal of the yacht’s locating device.
“So at the moment what’s happening is that the Hong Kong rescue center, they brought an airplane in the area, they have had ships in the area looking and informed all ships passing through the area to keep a look out,” Rollin said.
Rollin said the team was fully aware of the bad weather and were seasoned enough to deal with such storms. He added that the sailing yacht was fully equipped.
“When they left Hong Kong, they knew of the storm, which at that time was a tropical depression, which was coming across the Philippines and was heading north toward Vietnam, that was the prediction. And when they left, they headed towards the northern end of Luzon in order to stay away from the storm,” he said.
“All five are very, very experienced. They have done a number of crossings. Mister Taylor has brought his own boat across…I would have expected that they would have acted very well in the situation and knew what to do,” Rollin added
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