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Bermudians and sailboat still missing

S/V Carefree IV, missing for almost a week with two Bermudian crew despite a huge search.

A boat carrying two Bermudian sailors remains missing at sea, five days after it was due to arrive in Bermuda.The Carefree IV, a 31-foot sailboat, left the Dominican Republic on December 1.It was last seen on December 18, when it sent a distress signal that resulted in a passing merchant ship providing it with supplies.The boat was located 210 miles south-southwest of the Island at the time, with the crew listed as two Bermudian men. They reported they were in-bound to Bermuda.The crew of the boat is believed to be inexperienced and the vessel has no life raft or emergency beacon.Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre became concerned for the vessel as its position indicated it would encounter severe weather en-route.It was expected to arrive on the Island by December 23 but nothing has been seen or heard of it since, despite a wide-ranging search.A Bermuda Maritime Operations spokesman said yesterday: “We’re continuing to send an urgent maritime information broadcast for the vessel, and we’re contacting Caribbean authorities to see if she turned back, but so far we have not heard of anything.”He explained the centre is sending text messages to all ships that come within 800 miles of Bermuda to ask them to look out. The US Coast Guard is also sending messages out by satellite.A US Coast Guard plane was sent to search for the vessel on December 23 and 24, and scanned nearly 30,000 square miles of ocean before the air search was called off.The spokesman declined to provide information about the Bermudian sailors as their families do not wish for any publicity.However, he said the centre is speaking to them daily to check if they’ve heard from the missing men.