Four Americans missing off Japan
Update Oct 12 2008: It has been 15 days since the distress call was sent out by the Jade Princess. There have been very few news reports and no sign of the missing men.
In any search and rescue the first 72 hours are the most crucial.
Today Stars and Stripes reported that the Japanese have released the names of the four missing men. The names were actually released ten days ago. The rehashing of existing information is a sign that no further information is available.
The comments of this NowPublic.com article, the forums at JapanUpdate.com and comments on JapanToday.com articles (JT.com) offer some unverified insight into who the men were and what they were doing.
The lack of information appears to have forced family members and friends to seek information in the forums and comment sections of articles. I was contacted directly by someone who said he was a college friend of one of the missing.
In short, the unverified comments suggest:
- the men were delivering a yacht
- the names released by the media are incorrect
- some of the men were based in Panama City
- the company they, apparently, worked for has not been identified
- some of the men were affiliated with the US military
Japan identifies four Americans missing at sea
The Japan Coast Guard has identified the four Americans missing at sea since Sept. 28 after their yacht was struck by Typhoon Jangmi.
The captain of the 66-foot Jade Princess was identified as Ryan Charles Nash, 52. Also missing are the deckman, Mark John Keeper, 24; and the ship’s two engineers, Jamie Reece Duffy, 35, and Daniel John Bates, 55.
The names were released to the Japan Coast Guard by an unidentified owner of the ship, a spokesman in the Naha office said Friday.
It appears that two of the men were based in Panama and were delivering the yacht to its new owner.
Two Panama City men were reportedly on board a yacht which was lost during a typhoon two weeks ago between Malaysia and Okinawa in the East China Sea.
News reports indicated four men were onboard the “Jade Princess” a 66 foot yacht which the crew reportedly was delivering to its new owner.
Short Japanese language video report which shows footage of debris believed to be from the missing yacht Jade Princess.
This dramatic video from NPs TyphoonHunter was shot in eastern Taiwan during Typhoon Jangmi, the strongest typhoon to hit Taiwan in 13 years. The footage offers an insight into the conditions encountered by the missing yacht Jade Princess .
...we witnessed the full fury of the Pacific Ocean raging ashore with phenomenal waves. I shot this video of massive storm surge waves smashing into eastern Taiwan.
Photo: 沖縄県・西表島沖で遭難したとみられる米国船籍の「ＪＡＤＥ ＰＲＩＮＣＥＳＳ」（第１１管区海上保安本部提供）
(Machine Translation by babelfish.yahoo.com)
Photo: American Yacht JADE PRINCESS which is seen that it met with a disaster with the Okinawa prefecture west chart island open sea, (11th region marine preservation headquarters offer)
Update Oct 4 2008: Stars and Stripes released a report today, oddly dated October 5, stating that:
Japan reduces effort to find lost Americans
The Japan Coast Guard said Friday it scaled back its search for four Americans missing at sea after their yacht was lost in Typhoon Jangmi last week.
This English language report was released approximately 48 hours after Japanese language media reported that the search for the missing yacht had been scaled back. I am curious to know why it took 48 hours for the reports to be translated.
The Japanese reports also mention the names and ages of the missing men. The Stars and Stripes continues to report that the men have not been identified.
沖縄県・与那国島沖で遭難したとみられる米国人４人が乗ったクルーザー「ＪＡＤＥ ＰＲＩＮＣＥＳＳ」について、第１１管区海上保安本部（那覇）は２日、 同船や乗組員の特定につながる漂流物などが見つからないことを受けて、海上自衛隊などと合同で行ってきた捜索を打ち切った
The crew members of the Jade Princess are captain Ryan Nash, 52, deckhand Mark Keeper, 24, and engineers Jamie Duffy, 35, and Daniel Bates, 55, they said.
The yacht was sailing from Malaysia to Okinawa but the purpose of its trip is unknown, according to the officials.
The decision to scale back the search was made because it is belived that the yacht Jade Princess is no longer near the Okinawa prefectural island of Ishigaki.
Searchers took the action because they believe the 66-foot yacht Jade Princess is no longer in the waters near the Okinawa prefectural island of Ishigaki, spokesman Masakazu Okuda said.
The decision to reduce search efforts came two days after the Japan Coast Guard said it believed the men were alive after possibly escaping the yacht in an inflatable raft.
Okuda declined to say Friday whether the men were still believed to be alive or when the search would end.
The U.S. Navy appears to have one aircraft assigned to search for the missing yacht. Considering the vast amount of resources the U.S. has in the area, it seems to be a very limited response.
A U.S. Navy P-3 Orion from Kadena Air Base on Okinawa continued to search the waters Friday.
U.S. Navy 7th Fleet spokesman Chief Petty Officer Robert Garnand said he did not know how long Navy efforts would continue.
Update: It has been more than five days since the distress signal was received.
Update: There is still hope that the four missing Americans will be found alive. The Japanese coast guard has found the radio transmitter from the 66-foot yacht Jade Princess.
Japanese keep up search for Americans lost at sea
The Japan Coast Guard said Tuesday it believes the four Americans reported missing at sea near Okinawa since Sunday may still be alive, and guardsmen are searching for an inflatable raft the men may have used to escape the 66-foot yacht they were sailing in during Typhoon Jangmi.
Debris and the radio transmitter from the "Jade Princess" were found Sunday evening near the Okinawa prefectural island of Ishigaki about six hours after the Japan Coast Guard received a radio distress signal, said Japan Coast Guard spokesman Takamichi Higa.
The four have not been identified.
The US registered yacht Jade Princess went missing today off the coast of southern Japan.
Super Typhoon Jangmi has been affecting the weather in the
area for more than 24 hours. It killed two and injured fifty-eight in Taiwan.
Both the Japanese and Taiwanese coast guards are searching for the missing yacht.
Update: Debris believed to be part of the missing 66-foot yacht Jade Princess have been spotted. The search contiunes for a possible life raft.
Search continues for Americans missing at sea after typhoon
The four men were sailing from Malaysia to Okinawa aboard the 66-foot yacht Jade Princess on Sunday, when they sent out a radio distress signal at 11:06 a.m., said Takamichi Higa, Japan Coast Guard spokesman in Naha.
Rescue planes spotted the Jade Princess’ emergency locator radio transmitter and debris believed to be part of the yacht about 38 miles northwest from where the initial distress signal originated, Higa said.
The Japan Coast Guard said it had received reports that the yacht may have been equipped with a rescue raft, Higa said.
"The raft has yet to be found," he said. "In finding the raft, we keep our hope, slim as it may be."
Higa said the yacht departed Sept. 21 from Malaysia.
US pleasure boat vanishes in typhoon near Taiwan
TAIPEI, Taiwan - Taiwan's coast guard says an American pleasure boat with four crew disappeared off the island's east coast after losing power during a powerful typhoon.
Search for missing Americans
The Japan Coast Guard dispatched four aeroplanes and two patrol boats a day after receiving a radio distress signal from the Jade Princess, which was sailing from Malaysia to the southern Japanese island of Okinawa.
'But we have found neither the missing people nor the yacht as the sea remains rough due to the typhoon,' a coast guard official said from the southern Japanese island of Okinawa.
A YACHT with four US citizens aboard went missing today in waters south of the East China Sea as Typhoon Jangmi pounded the area, the Japanese coast guard said. The coast guard said it was searching for the yacht after its office on the southern Okinawa island received a radio distress signal overnight. "We then confirmed it was a US-registered yacht, Jade Princess, with the US coast guard," the Japanese coast guard official said.
Four US citizens are aboard Jade Princess, which was sailing from Malaysia to Okinawa, the official said. "We received the signal shortly before noon from a location some 83km south-southwest of Iriomote island," he said, referring to a small Japanese island near Taiwan. The typhoon is the strongest to hit Taiwan this year. It is expected to reach Japan's Okinawa island chain by Wednesday, according to the Japanese Meteorological Agency. Jangmi, meaning "rose" in Korean, made landfall in Taiwan's north-eastern Ilan county around 5.40pm AEST yesterday, according to local officials.
Some information about Iriomote island:
Distance from Iriomote to Taiwan is about 200km, also to the tropic of cancer is only 100km, Taiwan is much nearer than Okinawa Island.
Iriomote (西表島 Iriomote-jima; Yaeyama: Irimutī Okinawan: Iriumuti) is the largest of the Yaeyama Islands and the second largest in Okinawa Prefecture after Okinawa Island itself.
Despite its having an area of 289 km² the island's total population is less than 2,000, and infrastructure is limited to a single coastal road connecting the hamlets on the northern and eastern shores. The island does not have an airstrip, and most visitors — over 150,000 in 2003 — arrive from Ishigaki by ferry. Administratively the island belongs to Taketomi Town, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.