Mexican Authorities Find Sailboat Of Missing Sailor Donald Lawson

Captain Donald Lawson was sailing from Mexico to Baltimore before being reported missing on July 13.

After being reported missing for several weeks, Mexican authorities have discovered the sailboat of professional sailor Captain Donald Lawson, the Baltimore Sun reports.

On July 5,  Lawson, who had hoped to set a series of marine travel records, sailed from Acapulco, Mexico, intending to travel through the Panama Canal to make his way back to Baltimore.

Hunter Schnabel, a spokesperson for the U.S. Coast Guard’s District 11 said that Lawson’s last point of contact was on July 12 when he spoke to his wife Jacqueline. During their last call, he told his wife that the impact of a storm caused him to lose the wind generator that he was using.

The following day, Coast Guard signaled vessels in the area that Lawson was reported missing nearly approximately 300 miles off the coast of Mexico after his sailboat experienced electrical issues.

Defiant, the name of Lawson’s sailboat, was equipped with a position beacon, two life rafts, a survival suit, and multiple radios.

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On Tuesday (July 24), a spokesperson of the U.S. Coast Guard stated that the agency has “no information on the reported sighting and was having trouble getting in touch with the Rescue Coordination Centers in Acapulco.”

In a statement on Tuesday, Jacqueline Lawson said that she and the family are “remaining hopeful” of Donald’s return despite “unconfirmed reports” of his sailboat being discovered.

“We are currently awaiting additional information and confirmed reports from Mexican authorities of Donald and his Trimaran [sailboat],” Jacqueline said in a statement.

“We are not giving up hope and we are remaining hopeful of his return,” the statement continued. “He is an experienced sailor who is well-equipped to expertly handle these types of challenging weather conditions in the Pacific.”

Prior to being reported missing, Lawson was preparing to become the fastest person to sail a solo, non-stop voyage around the world in a boat no longer than 60 feet. The current record is 74 days. Lawson is also the founder of the Dark Seas Project, a nonprofit that aims to diversify the sport of sailing.

Jacqueline Lawson urged anyone with any information that will lead to Donald’s discovery to contact the authorities.

“We are continuing to pray that Donald will be found and will soon return home safely to his family, friends, and sailing supporters,” his wife said. “If anyone does have any information, please reach out to the Mexican Navy and U.S. Coast Guard.”

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