Montreal

Montreal sailor feared missing in Chilean quake

The family of a Montreal woman who set sail for Chile in January say they are concerned she might have gone missing in last month's earthquake or the subsequent tsunami.

The family of a Montreal woman who set sail for Chile in January say they are concerned she might have gone missing in last month's earthquake or the subsequent tsunami.

Josée (Jade) Chabot was one of two Canadians aboard the SS Columbia, a 13-metre sailboat expected to arrive in Coquimbo, Chile, around the same time as the quake hit on Feb. 27

No one has heard from any of the six people aboard the training vessel, which departed Ecuador on Jan. 16, since the 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck the South American country.

Repeated aftershocks in the region and tsunami warnings have Chabot’s family members worried, said her husband, Martin Neufeld.

"I started calling around, and the more people that I called, I realized that nobody was doing anything," Neufeld told CBC News. "No one was even aware that this ship was out there."

Chabot's family has contacted the Canadian embassy in Chile's capital, Santiago, and every port from Salinas to Coquimbo, about 500 km north of Santiago, said Neufeld.

No search yet

The SS Columbia will not be officially overdue until the end of this week, according to the ship's last itinerary, officials with the Canadian Coast Guard said.

"Nobody has been able to contact them at this time, but there is not a huge concern right now," said maritime co-ordinator Steve Church.

If no one has heard from the vessel by Friday, the Ecuadorian and Chilean coast guards will be responsible for search efforts, said Church.

For now, all that Chabot's family can do is wait.

Chabot, 49, was aboard the vessel training to become a certified skipper.

The other Canadian on board is reported to be a woman from Nelson, B.C.

On Sunday, Chile began three days of national mourning for the hundreds of people killed in the earthquake and the tsunami that followed on its heels.