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“I’m So Thankful They’re Safe!”

In Wednesday’s ‘Lectronic, we reported that the disabled San Francisco-based 47-ft motorsailer Darla Jean washed ashore at Fanning Atoll on December 2 after two and a half months of drifting across the Pacific. Owners Darla and Jerry Merrow — and their dog and bird — were reported to have survived the wreck and were requesting no assistance.

Yesterday we received an email from Darla’s sister Kimberly Corcoran: "Just yesterday I emailed the Coast Guard to see if they could give me any info on Darla Jean‘s whereabouts and I was sent a link to your story. Darla and Jerry’s original destination was the Cook Islands — it looks like they came fairly close to their goal. They left San Francisco on September 20 on a different boat but hit a bad storm just outside of the Gate. They made it as far as Monterey when something happened to their keel. That’s when they decided to buy Darla Jean. I heard from them just before they left Monterey but my family has been very concerned because we haven’t heard from them since. I am so thankful to know that they are safe!"

We’re still curious about the couple and their boat so if you have any more info to share, email Richard.

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Bismarck Dinius, who was charged with manslaughter in the 2006 death of Lynn Thornton, appeared in Lake County Superior Court November 29 to plead not guilty to the charges, and to request that Lake County prosecutors be removed from the case.