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U.S. sailor's boat found off Ireland

KILKEE, Ireland -- A small boat found floating upturned and empty off the west coast of Ireland is that of a missing American solo sailor.

Dr Nenad Belic, 62, left Cape Cod, Massachusetts, six months ago in his vessel, LUN, on an attempted lone transatlantic voyage.

It was spotted on Friday by a fishing vessel less than seven miles from Kilkee, County Clare.

The Irish Coast Guard said a diving inspection of the overturned boat had established there was no body on board.

Arrangements were under way to tow the craft into Kilkee.

The LUN has been officially posted missing since September 30 when an electronic position-indicating beacon was activated 215 nautical miles west of Castletownbere, County Cork, in storm force 10 conditions.

An extensive search of the area by British and Irish coastguards, the Royal Air Force and the Irish Air Corps -- as well as private aircraft engaged by Dr Belic's family -- failed to find any trace of the small boat.

The Belic family chartered two spotter planes to scour hundreds of square miles off Ireland's south-west coast early last month, but the search was subsequently called off.

Dr Belic, a retired cardiologist, set off on his trip on May 11.


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