Guppy Update 10/1/18
Dear LifeSail supporters,
As you are aware, earlier this year Laura Dekker donated her beloved 'Guppy' to LifeSail, in hopes we could inspire a new generation to follow their dreams as she did.
We set out to sail Guppy across the Pacific from New Zealand to her new home, Los Angeles. On August 9th, Guppy made a brief stop for fuel and maintenance at Manihiki, a remote atoll in the South Pacific. Before daylight on August 10th, a squall developed, fouling the anchor, and forcing Guppy out of the anchorage. While departing, the engine failed and would not restart. Before the spare anchor could be deployed, Guppy was blown onto a nearby shallow reef.
LifeSail, with the assistance of many volunteers on Manihiki, and the blessings of the Cook Islands government, constructed a cradle to protect Guppy, and carefully used heavy equipment to attempt to remove her undamaged. Despite our best efforts, additional squalls and heavy surf damaged Guppy before the operation could be completed safely.
Under the direction of the insurance carrier and the Island Council, the in-field team has since shifted all focus to protecting the environment, and spent the last several weeks removing all hazardous material from Guppy. Working with the Transportation Ministry of the Cook Islands and the Island Council, we regret that the final decision has now been made to scuttle Guppy. Using lifting salvage bags, the process of dismantle and final removal began Friday, September 28, and is expected to take 1 to 2 weeks.
We are deeply saddened by these events and are grateful to Laura for her generous gift. We have privately offered our sincerest apologies and have shared details and images with Laura surrounding the Guppy events. We are very proud of Laura and her accomplishments and wish we could have carried on her dream through Guppy.
Despite many risks and injuries, Matt and Lori have remained by Guppy’s side for nearly two months, and have taken full responsibility for her salvage. We are very proud of them both and grateful they are safe. We are also grateful to the wonderful people of Manihiki who through this crisis have become dear friends of Lifesail. Our thoughts and prayers are with them all to remain safe while Guppy is removed.
For those of you who have offered encouragement and kind words to Matt and Lori, and to the many people of Manihiki, the Board would like to extend our heartfelt thanks.
We will post further updates as progress is made.