The satellite pictures at Amazon have all been scanned and those identified as important are now under review. Amazon reports this amazing volunteer effort:
During the last 5 days, Mechanical Turk workers looked at more than 560,000 images3 satellites, covering nearly 3,500 square miles of ocean.
Tom, a very experienced sailor himself, just informed me of Jim Gray’s misfortune:
He was sailing offshore, alone, in good weather with a well-equipped yacht. He’s said to have “more than 10 years’ experience,” but reports from friends say he’s been sailing much longer than that.
My guess is man-overboard. He would have known about keeping a harness on at all times when offshore if he’s as experienced as has been said, but he was on a trip to scatter his mother’s ashes and his emotions may have clouded his judgement. Or he might not have been as experienced as his friends thought and he may not have been clipped in.
Honestly, when I was young and dumb I went out alone, but I wouldn’t want to go out offshore alone. Or would I? I’ve been from Salem to Marblehead and to Gloucester without anyone on board. He was going to the Farallon Islands, though, which is ~25 miles out. That’s pretty far out to be alone.
Other possibilities are:
Container collision: containers are a lethal hazard offshore. Containers overboard from a ship float awash for months and can kill a yacht in seconds if the yacht rams them at an angle that staves in the hull.
Ship collision: thought to be somewhat less likely b/c the weather was good and he was out for a day sail.
Catastrophic health issue: he is 63, but in good health.
Equipment failure: As you may recall, this can be a problem.