NARC RALLY: Fatality on Triple Stars

Rob and Jan Anderson from Triple Stars

The U.S. Coast Guard reported yesterday and rally organizer Hank Schmitt confirmed to me in a phone conversation this morning that Jan Anderson, wife of Rob Anderson, has been lost overboard from Triple Stars, an Island Packet 38, approximately 285 miles northwest of Bermuda. According to the Coast Guard report, an EPIRB assigned to Triple Stars was ignited at 1339 hours yesterday, followed five minutes later by a radio call from Rob Anderson stating that Jan had been swept overboard by a 30-foot wave. A commercial vessel, High Jupiter, was diverted to the scene to search for Jan and also took Rob off of Triple Stars. According to Hank, the boat has been abandoned and it is unlikely that Jan will be recovered alive.

As was reported here yesterday, Triple Stars was participating in the North American Rally to the Caribbean (NARC), which departed Newport on November 1. Rob and Jan Anderson, who had been cruising the boat together since 2007, were the only crew aboard. The boat had reportedly suffered autopilot problems and, according to Hank, who has run the NARC rally for the past 12 years, there was also a problem with the mainsail.

Triple Stars
Triple Stars at anchor
Triple Stars location
The last location of Triple Stars as published on the Anderson’s blog

Hank expressed great regret at the loss and told me he hoped there would be an investigation into the incident.

“They were 10 days out of Newport and could have been here in Bermuda several days ago,” he said.

Rob and Jan were receiving and following advice from volunteer weather-router Herb Hilgenberg. As is documented in their blog, as of November 6 they believed that their decision to stay north of the island during the strong weather of the past week was warranted.

UPDATE: The Coast Guard reports they suspended their search for Jan Anderson this afternoon.

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34 Responses
  1. Amy Polky

    We have lost a very special lady, who had a wonderful spirit. She will be deeply missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to Rob and her family.

  2. Amy Polky

    We have lost a wonderful lady, what a ray of sunshine. My thougths and prayers go out to Rob and his family. Jan will be deeply missed, what a tragic loss…I will always remember her smile……

  3. Lee Rosichan

    This tragedy has been broadcast to all of us out on the west coast who are friends with the Andersons. We all want to help in anyway we can, and are thinking of Rob and Kristen.

  4. Beth and Andy Field

    This tragic news of Jan, our friend and co-worker, comes as such a shock. Rob and Kristen-please know our love, thoughts and prayers are with you.

  5. Michelle Hyde-Cader

    Wow what a terrible terrible loss. Jan was a neigbor for years as well as a wonderful lady who worked at my elementary school. This is so tragic to hear, they were such a sweet caring family. God bless the Anderson family, and may they find peace in their own way and may God give them strength.

  6. Michelle Hyde-Cader

    I remember growing up around Jan she was always so warm-spirited and friendly as a staff member at my elementary school, as well as a neighbor. This is such a tragic loss and my heart really goes out to the Anderson family, may God keep a close eye and give your family the courage and strength needed to move forward. My condolences.

  7. Mary and Ken Strasse

    Our thoughts and prayers for the family of Jan. A chance meeting four years ago brought us the pleasure of meeting Jan and Rob. We have never forgotten her kindness and lovely spirit.

  8. Stephen Maxwell

    The prayers of the Port Clyde Baptist Church are with you and the family as this tragedy unfolds. Love in Christ,
    Pastor Stephen and all at Port Clyde.

  9. Craig Suker

    I am saddened to hear of the loss of Jan Anderson. She was always cheerful and happy. Although I didn’t know her long, I am fortunate to have known her at all. She will be missed.

    My dearest sympathies go out to Rob and his family.

  10. Terri Potts

    Our sorrow is beyond words. We looked forward to many years of get-togethers, reminiscing about the wonderful experiences we shared during the year we sailed together. Jan and Rob have been like family to us. I hope he knows we are here for him, and for Kristen, ALWAYS.

  11. lorna lewis

    Rob and Kristen, My thoughts and prayers are with and for you. Jan was always such a wonderful, cheerful personality in our office at MV. We all missed her when she left on this adventure. May you be blessed with many warm memories.

  12. Christopher Landry

    Hi, I am the senior reporter for Soundings boating magazine (www.soundingsonline) and would like to interview Kristen about her parents and what happened — and provide an opportunity for her to tell us about Jan.
    Any information about how to reach Kristen would be appreciated. My email is
    Sincerely, Chris Landry

  13. Bill & Jody Cowan

    We are so sadden to hear of your tragic loss. Jan always brought a sparkle of energy with her.Such a wonderful lady. We all here @ Ocean Pursuits send you and family members our deepest sympathies and are holding you close in thought.

  14. Patty Jarrell

    Rob and Jan were one of the first ISU couples to marry in our group of friends. Many moments from that time of our lives will live on in our hearts! We mourn the loss and all that surrounds it. Rob and Kristin, we love and support you always.

  15. Corinne Waller

    Rob and Kristen-
    Jeffrey and I are thinking of you and sending you our love. Your family took good care of us while we were in Rohnert Park.
    We Love You.

  16. As many have said…Jan’s smile…it will be missed, and her true enthusiasm when she saw my children…always giving them treats from the store…we all miss her and always will…never to be forgotten.


    Dearest CalFire Kristin:
    We are so sad and sorry about the accident involving your folks–what a horrid experience. If your mum was anything like you, she was a beautiful person. You obviously have her endearing smile. If there is anything that we can do to help out, please don’t hesitate to call or e-mail. Much Love, Mike and Barbara

  18. Marcus Libkind

    I along with others are truly saddened by the accident. I did not know Jan, but for those that did it should be a time to remember all the good times with her. It should also be used as a learning experience. What went wrong? How could it have been prevented? Did a harness or tether fail?

  19. charlie

    @Marcus: What I’ve heard, but have not been able to confirm, is that Jan had just come up the companionway and was about to clip in when the boat got rolled by a huge wave and she went overboard. Truly a horrible piece of luck if it is true.

  20. Michael Tuck

    I just heard about the accident and my heart goes out to you. I know what Jan meant to you, keep your chin up bud your in my thoughts.


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