Minoru Saito Yacht adrift unmanned, NW Pacific / Philippine Sea

My friend, the well known solo sailor Minoru Saito, tells me that he had to abandon his yacht Shuten Dohji II in the north-west Pacific on July 1st, after mechanical failure. He was three days out of Cebu, bound for Japan. Minoru is safe & well and has now returned to Japan.

He would like mariners to be aware of the hazard the drifting vessel presents. I’m copying his message below - it’s a bit emotional, in line with the experience of abandoning a yacht that carried you safely through the last two (one in each direction) of your total of 8 solo circumnavigations.

“I’ve very big problem, now I’m in Yokohama fly back from West Australia. Dampia via. Perth, after getting off Rescue ship and Shuten Dohji II now drifting between Philippine- Guam, I used EPIRB and US Coast Guard contact to Japan LNG tanker rescued me, 1st.July… Yachts position N15.36 /E 128.28 wheel steering wire come off, wheel no working, little sea water comes in stern cabin, maybe sheave? Anyway other some, etc. I want to take and towing to Guam, if possible. So I want to try “Challenge 9 non stop Around Alone” this year. I need Shutedohji II” that’s very good lucky yacht. I think."

Minoru would love to hear from anyone sailing those waters who sights his boat.

Eight solo circumnavigations and he abandoned ship for that? Good grief … all he had to do was watch a YouTube video to see how countless others have survived such a life threatening maritime catastrophe.

Surely there is much much more to the story.

1 Like

There’s a wee bit of understatement in there. “Anyway other some etc” means anyway, various other problems… which to an ordinary sailor like me would each be a major emergency.

There’s a picture of the yacht here. She’s a 50-ft Adams-designed cutter:


The man is 85 years old.

1 Like

Ah so … yeah that qualifies as much more to the story.

1 Like