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Wife raises funds to search for missing sailor

<!–enpproperty 2016-10-31 14:25:36.0Wife raises funds to search for missing sailorGuo Chuan, Search, Wife, Fund1158963Society2@webnews/enpproperty–>

Guo Chuan returns to Qingdao from a 15-day voyage on Sept 27, 2015. [Photo/IC]

Xiao Li, the wife of missing Chinese star sailor Guo Chuan, launched a crowd-funding project on Saturday to seek life-saving supplies in the search for Guo.

Launched on gongyi.qq.com, an online crowd-funding site operated by Tencent, the project aims to raise two million yuan ($295,000). By noon on Monday, it had received almost 1.3 million yuan from 12,000 donors.

Guo, 51, is thought to have fallen off his boat on Wednesday during his trans-Pacific voyage.

The US Coast Guard found Guo’s 97-foot trimaran, the Qingdao China, 1,000km northwest of the Hawaiian island of Oahu on Thursday, but he was missing. A life jacket was found on the vessel.

The action by the US Coast Guard was then suspended, leaving Guo’s support team and his family desperately looking for alternatives to continue the search.

A travel company in Hawaii later offered to provide five to 10 helicopters to search for the missing sailor, but they need larger ships with helipads.

On Sunday, more than 1,000 ships affiliated with China’s COSCO Shipping Corporation were informed to keep an eye out along their travel routes in the hope they would find the missing mariner.

“The sea temperature is 25 degrees Celsius above and we will not give up till the last hope,” Guo’s wife said in a letter shared extensively on Chinese social media last week.

Guo, China’s first professional sailor, was reported to be in good health and confident about the voyage. He holds two sailing world records – a solo nonstop circumnavigation world record set in 2013 and an Arctic Ocean Northeast Passage nonstop sailing world record set last year.

He told a Xinhua reporter in an earlier interview that the greatest fear for a sailor was to fall in the water.