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.