The Italian 24-year-old laser sailor Lorenzo Garosi, reported missing after leaving the mouth of river Tiber yesterday, has been sighted about 60 miles off the coast few minutes ago from a Port Authority helicopter. The young sailor is fine. The helicopter pilot has reported that Lorenzo is on board and waves his arms. His conditions seem to be good.
Meanwhile, a Coast Guard patrol boat is heading to the point for the rescue, which seems to be simpler by sea. After 24 distressing hours, Lorenzo’s family, who reported his missing last night at about 19:00,can finally breath a sigh of relief.
Lorenzo Garosi, a long experienced sailor who has already experienced some important Atlantic crossings, had put his brand-new laser boat into water at about 16:00 yesterday, sailing off from Tecnomar club, along river Tiber, where he works.
Some fishermen had seen him going out of the river mouth just before dawn. At that moment, a 15/20-knot northerly wind was blowing and sea was flat near the mouth. The sailor had sailed away but we don’t know what happened later.
The patrol boat will take a couple of hours to reach him. The rescue operation won’t be simple since rescuers will reach the boat in the dark.
Lorenzo is young and well-trained, able-bodied and accustomed to hard navigations. Moreover, he wears a new 3.2 mm wetsuit he probably wanted to test just yesterday. All these conditions can partially explain the formidable resistance of the boy and reassure about the next two hours, which are the necessary time to reach and rescue him.
These have been 24 distressing hours which saw an impressive mobilisation in the whole area. In addition to the Coast Guard helicopters and patrol boats, Lorenzo’s friends and parents and even many members of the clubs overlooking the river have sailed away to search him.
In the early hours, the most likely and dramatic assumption was that the laser boat had capsized making Lorenzo fall into the water.
Rescue operations are under way in these minutes.