Lost at sea: Calls for more efforts to locate missing catamaran

The crew members disappeared from radars on 18 January after they failed to reach their destination.

FILE: File image of a catamaran. Picture: http://imgkid.com/

CAPE TOWN - A South African catamaran crew that went missing off the coast of Australia earlier this year is feared to have run out of supplies after spending more than 80 days at sea.

The crew members disappeared from radars on 18 January after they failed to reach their destination in Thailand.

The distraught family members of Anthony Murray, Reginald Robertson and Jaryd Payne have since launched an online campaign in hopes of finding the crew.

Family advisor Mathew Thomas says, "There was storm in the area and after that there wasn't any communication and generally in these kind of environment that's would just simply mean the phone they were using maybe fell in the water."

The current 'Lost Catamaran & Crew At Sea' enables people all over the world to search satellite images that are loaded by Tomnod for this specific campaign.

Tomnod is a project owned by Colorado-based satellite company DigitalGlobe.

The aim of the current campaign is to search for the Leopard 44 catamaran that was being delivered to Phuket, Thailand by Murray (58), Robertson (59) and Payne (20).

Skippered by experienced yachtsman Murray, the Sunsail RC044-978 left Cape Town on 14 December on a delivery for Tui Marine, a leader in the world maritime leisure business based in Florida.

The last reported position of the yacht on 15 January was 29' 55 S, 080' 47 E with 2010 nm to go.

The date of arrival estimated by Murray on that date was 2 February.

The last contact with the yacht was via iridium satellite phone on 18 January.

The yacht was officially carrying enough supplies for 65 days and has now been at sea for 81 days.

The three families are urging all South Africans and people around the world to join the online 'Lost Catamaran & Crew At Sea' Tomnod search party.