Fox 5 Atlanta reported late yesterday that Atlanta-resident Laura Zekoll went missing Saturday evening during a sailing trip after the boat she was on hit a reef in waters near the Bahamas.

According to Fox 5, Zekoll is a 46-year-old Atlanta resident.

The report states that the accident occurred near Avaco Island, which is part of the Bahamas. Four crew members boarded a lifeboat after the boat capsized, but the life raft was unable to support all four and each fell into the water. According to the article, three of the four made it to land and were eventually rescued.

Atlanta lesbian involved in boating accident, missing

Zekoll, a lesbian, has been sailing throughout her adult life, according to friend Jo Giraudo, who called Zekoll a “gentle spirit” today by phone.

“You never think of something like this happening,” Giraudo said.

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended the rescue effort early this morning after more than 25 hours of searching. According to Chief Petty Officer Russell Tippets, the search was conducted in conjunction with the Royal Bohemian Defense Force.

Tippets said the Coast Guard employed a J-Hawk helicopter, a 65-Dolphin helicopter and a C-130 plane in the search. The Coast Guard searched 1647 square miles before suspending operations at 8:25 a.m. this morning.

Zekoll was involved with the Women’s Outdoor Network and enjoyed line-dancing at 3-Legged Cowboy and Hoedowns before it closed, according to Giraudo.

A vigil is planned for tonight at 7:00 p.m. at Saint Mark United Methodist Church, where Zekoll was a member. The vigil was organized by friends and Zekoll’s sister, according to church officials.

Saint Mark United Methodist Church
781 Peachtree Street, NE
Atlanta, GA 30308