Sandi and Patrick's Final Sail as YachtCruz Goes Down
Fun-loving Sandi at a New Year's Eve Party in Rio Dulce
February 7, 2018
by Jody Aston, Editor and Publisher
Editor's Note:  I've taken a short break, as my laptop and Internet service were both down for the last two weeks. I was finding it hard to write the following article anyway, as it is, unfortunately, the report of another loss of friends in the Rio Dulce boating community. I'm in the US for a few weeks, now, with access to the Internet, and, while pushing myself to get this done, a fellow cruiser sent a beautiful letter which deals with this very subject of loss of friends and loved ones on the Rio. It could not have arrived at a better time. So, first, the sad news of Sandi and Patrick on YachtCruz, and the uplifting letter will be published immediately after.

Sandi and Patrick lived life to the fullest, which seems even more poignant and important now that their lives have been cut short. Sandi's daughter, Eva Emelev, alerted friends on Sandi's Facebook page, Go YachtCruz, that the Coast Guard had received distress calls from their vessel on January 10th, however, no boats were spotted at the location of the emission.

After spending a fun-filled year or more on the Rio Dulce, Sandi and Patrick went to Panama, where they managed Shelter Bay Marina, in Colon, for two years. They passed through the Panama Canal and sent Thanksgiving greetings from Marina Vallarta in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico. They were headed north along the West Coast of Mexico when, apparently, they encountered difficulties.

RIP Sandi and Patrick of SV YachtCruz - FB Profile Picture

The Coast Guard found the yacht's emergency beacon on the shore, along with "life jackets, a few bumpers, some wood, a mattress. No other signs of their vessel."

On January 17th, Eva's brother, Ryan Roath, left this message for Facebook friends: "My sister and I have been working non stop with Mexico through email and by phone. We have been trying to get as much done here as we can before making the trip to Ensenada. Along with Patrick’s family we both have confirmed that the bodies found were in fact our mom and Patrick. This will always remain a mystery and many unanswered questions for all of us. Just thankful that we are able to bring my mom home and have a little closure. We love you all and we will plan something when we get back from Mexico. We will keep you all posted. Thanks again for the support and prayers through this tough time." 

SV YachtCruz, 50-ft Irwin

A memorial service was held for Sandi (Foree) at Desert Hills Community Church in Phoenix, Arizona on January 27, 2018. It was live-streamed by DHCCTV and can be seen on YouTube here:

Friends gathered for their own memorial service at Shelter Bay Marina on January 28th. They said they met by the wall painting left by Sandi, and the service was led by Vicki (Cinnamon Teal). Friends shared happy moments and remembrances of the crew of Yacht Cruz.

Patrick's family is having a memorial service on March 10th, 11:00am, at All Saints Church in Beverly Hills, CA 90210. There will be a reception immediately following next door at Sweetland Hall.

The staff of Rio Dulce Chisme Vindicator give sincere condolences to friends and family of Patrick and Sandy. Go YachtCruz Facebook page is filled with stories and photos that loving friends have posted.

Sandy and Patrick at a Valentine's Dinner in Rio Dulce