Merlin Yacht Racing suspends race to Mackinac to search for missing man overboard

Merlin Yacht Racing suspends race to Mackinac to search for missing man overboard

Search Resumes For Missing Race To Mackinac Sailor
By John Burnham

CHICAGO (CBS) — The search for a missing sailor who fell overboard during the Chicago Yacht Club Race To Mackinac is turning into a recovery mission.

Rescuers called off their search around 7 p.m. Sunday, after spending two days searching the waters about four miles off Navy Pier.

A Chicago Police Marine Unit boat resumed the search for Santarelli around 8:30 a.m. Monday.

Jon Santarelli, 52, had more than a decade of experience at sailing, and was looking forward to the 333-mile Race To Mackinack with his team, Imedi, on Saturday.

The Chicago Yacht Club believes his life jacket had a malfunction, and did not inflate when he went overboard on Saturday. He was performing a routine maneuver on the boat, when a wave hit the vessel, knocking him into the water.

The man overboard call prompted a massive search, with the U.S. Coast Guard deploying 20 boats and 3 helicopters. Other teams in the race also turned back, suspending their race to help search for Santarelli.

“I’ve never been in a position where we haven’t found somebody, or gotten everybody, or our buddies back on a boat; so it’s a little bit different running back through what it is that we could do and should do,” said Chip Merlin, owner of the Merlin.

A special tribute and a moment of silence will be held for Santarelli and his teammates at an awards ceremony on Tuesday on Mackinac Island.

 

Search Resumes For Missing Race To Mackinac Sailor

 

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