After a good start to his effort to break the solo trans-Pacific elapsed time record, the shore crew for Chinese sailor Guo Chuan became concerned when 24 hours elapsed without any contact from Guo Chuan. On Tuesday, Oct. 25 Guo Chuan's team members contacted the U.S. Coast Guard and a search for the Chinese sailor was initiated. Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules crews conducted six search patterns in the vicinity of Guo Chuan's 97-foot trimaran Quindao China which was reportedly 620 miles NW of Oahu. The boat was located and the U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island was diverted to the multihull's location. Once the Makin Island was in range, it launched an MH-60 Seahawk helicopter. The Navy helicopter attempted to make contact via radio but received no response. When the helicopter reached the trimaran the crew saw no sign of Guo Chuan. Later a rigid-hulled inflatable was dispatched from the Makin Island to Quindao China. Crewmen boarded the vessel but found that Guo Chuan was not board. A life jacket was found still on the boat.
According to the Coast Guard press release: "Weather on scene was reportedly 23 mph winds, seas to 5-feet with good visibility and scattered clouds.
"On-scene assets searched a total area of more than 4,600 square miles over the two-day period.
"Involved in the search were:
– HC-130 Hercules airplane crews from Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point
– USS Makin Island (LHD 8) homeported out of San Diego
– Navy MH-60 Seahawk helicopter crew attached to the USS Makin Island
"The Quindao China remains adrift, the mainsail has been doused and the vessel has been marked. A broadcast notice to mariners alerting vessel crews in the area to the potential hazard to navigation has been issued. Chuan’s racing team is making arrangements to recover the vessel."