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Missing sailboat found adrift with no one aboard

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:31 p.m. HST, Nov 18, 2013

A sailboat that left the Ala Wai boat harbor on Oct. 2 was located Friday 1,600 miles west of Oahu, adrift with no one aboard.

The sailboat, named C:Drive, was reportedly taken out of the Ala Wai boat harbor by Greg Stephanoff, who may have been headed to Hanalei Bay on Kauai. A friend notified the U.S. Coast Guard on Oct. 4 that Stephanoff hadn't been heard from over the two days, the Coast Guard said. 

The Coast Guard put out a call for information on Stephanoff's whereabouts, but suspended efforts on Oct. 15 pending further developments.

The C:Drive was spotted by crewmembers on the container ship Manukai on Nov. 7, 1,300 miles west of Oahu, who reported it as derelict after efforts to communicate with anyone who may have been aboard failed.  

An HC-130 Hercules aircraft crew was launched from Air Station Barbers Point and the fishing vessel Wakatake Maru was redirected to rendezvous with C:Drive. The Wakatake Maru crewmembers located the C:Drive, but weather conditions made boarding unsafe, the Coast Guard said.

The Honolulu-based Coast Guard Cutter Kukui was dispatched to locate the sailboat, boardng it at 3:30 p.m. Friday. 

No one was on the sailboat and there was no indication of what may have happened to Stephanoff, the Coast Guard said. A GPS and personal effects were collected to possibly help piece together what happened during the month the vessel was adrift.

The sailboat was marked and left adrift. 

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