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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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myviewofthings wrote:
on November 18,2013 | 11:50AM
AlexandriaB wrote:
Ghost boat!
on November 18,2013 | 12:16PM
mayihavesumor wrote:
Left adrift?
on November 18,2013 | 12:36PM
postmanx wrote:
Yeah, what is this "Left adrift"?
on November 18,2013 | 01:45PM
juscasting wrote:
I was always taught to use the buddy system when enjoying ocean activities!
on November 18,2013 | 01:10PM
copperwire9 wrote:
Left adrift? Really? Poor man; whatever happened to him must have been lonely and frightening. Kind thoughts to all who knew and loved him.
on November 18,2013 | 03:18PM
surfergirl808 wrote:
Thank you, copperwire9. I was crew on his boat, along with my boyfriend. Greg was a wonderful, sharing and generous man. This still boggles my mind that he didn't leave a float plan with anyone, but my heartfelt "Thank You' to the Coast Guard for everything they did.
on November 18,2013 | 03:36PM
copperwire9 wrote:
My sympathy surfergirl808, and empathy as well. I lost a sweetheart to a sudden storm that blew up on the Chesapeake Bay on Easter Sunday and broke apart his friend's boat. The water was 42 degrees, cold enough that a person could only live for about four hours in it. Their radio wasn't working. It took days and days to find their bodies. Four men died. Many hearts were broken. And so I send you tender blessings.
on November 19,2013 | 12:37AM
MolokaiChuck wrote:
What does "Marked" mean, and also why leave it adrift...not tow it, or even sink it?????
on November 18,2013 | 03:19PM
surfergirl808 wrote:
The boat was damaged and according to the Coast Guard (I've been in communication with them since my friend went missing) it would've broken apart being towed. Truly a loss of a beautiful vessel, but moreso we lost our friend.
on November 18,2013 | 03:37PM
SueH wrote:
Better to break apart and sink while being towed than left floating as a hazard to navigation. Truth be told, the Coast Guard cutter probably just didn't want to be burdened and slowed to towing speed for 1,300 miles dragging a vessel back to Honolulu that the owner wouldn't be around to claim anyway.
on November 18,2013 | 08:24PM
LMO wrote:
SueH: you have no concept of how the CG works. Your words are just insulting.
on November 19,2013 | 05:10AM
SueH wrote:
LMO: Then you tell me why the Coast Guard left this vessel unattended and drifting as a hazard to navigation, rather than dealing with it on the spot. Did they think the owner was just off for a swim and was soon coming back to continue his voyage??? No, the obvious solution would have been to deal with the vessel at the time, rather than just continue to let it drift unattended. Now go back to swabbing the deck. Your presumption that I have no idea how the Coast Guard works is insulting.
on November 19,2013 | 07:49AM
2localgirl wrote:
Another case of an unsolved mystery. The ocean is a huge place and not always kinds to mariners. Not for me thank you! Marked and perhaps currents figured into the equation for future reference. What would hit it but most probably a container ship. That would be like a bulldozer hitting a smart car. Probably not an issue. Bad B, want to take yours out for a spin? Not a kind ending I'm sure. We have to be at peace with our maker to pass without too much fear. Rest in peace...dear soul.
on November 19,2013 | 04:18AM
LMO wrote:
Can you say Marie Celeste?
on November 19,2013 | 05:10AM
lokela wrote:
He may still be around somewhere. You just never know. Stranger things have happened on the open seas.
on November 19,2013 | 10:50AM
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