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Monday, June 12, 2006

Search for missing Md. publisher continues By BEN NUCKOLS, Associated Press Writer
39 minutes ago

BALTIMORE - Rescue crews using helicopters and boats searched 100 square miles of the Chesapeake Bay for a prominent publisher and former diplomat whose sailboat was found empty and drifting in shallow water.

The search for Philip Merrill, an experienced sailor and chairman of the board of Capital-Gazette Communications Inc., continued early Monday, two days after he disappeared.

"As time goes by, chances of survival are less and less," said Col. Mark S. Chaney, superintendent of the Maryland Natural Resources Police.

Merrill, 72, had taken his 41-foot sailboat, the "Merrilly," out alone Saturday. He typically followed an 18-mile round trip without wearing a lifejacket, Chaney said.

Two boaters found the sailboat adrift Saturday evening near Plum Point, about 25 miles south of Annapolis and 40 miles south of his home in Arnold, and called police, officials said.

Rescue crews believe Merrill likely fell overboard since his wallet was on board and there was no damage to the boat, officials said. The wind was gusting up to 25 mph on Saturday, creating conditions that could be difficult for a single sailor alone, Chaney said.

Merrill's family issued a statement saying he had been an avid yachtsman since he first learned to sail at age 7.

"If there was anyone who could captain a boat competently alone, it was Phil," the statement said. "He just couldn't resist a sunny day with the wind at his back."

Annapolis-based Capital-Gazette Communications Inc. publishes Washingtonian magazine, The Capital and five other Maryland newspapers. Merrill took leave from publishing in December 2002 to be president and chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. His term expired last July.

He served as assistant secretary-general of NATO in Brussels from 1990 to 1992 and from 1983 to 1990 he served on the Department of Defense Policy Board. From 1981 to 1983, he was counselor to the undersecretary of defense for policy. In 1988, the secretary of defense awarded him the Medal for Distinguished Service, the highest civilian honor given by the department.

What the Tarot would say about this....

I laid out cards from the Tarot of Reflections by Francesco Ciampi, after trying about 10 times to post the pictures of the cards ( in case you are wondering why I have not been writing in my journal here, this is why....very frustrating to try over and over to post images and take the time to write, and have it not be posted or some malfunction and it disappears mysteriously. So.....bitchy today, yes I am.) I drew the Star, the 8 of Swords, and the Fool, on the question of 'what happened to Philip. And I drew the 5 of Wands, the Lovers, and the Death card on the question, 'Where is he right now?' My reading....(and hopefully I can get the cards to post so you can see the images....)

He was having a glorious day, alone, when suddenly gripped by pain, he knew what the pain meant, but kept on sailing, foolishly thinking it would go away. It didn't, and quickly he fell into the water, the place he loved the most, leaving this world. The pain was across his upper chest and neck, a stroke perhaps. I believe he knew he had a short time here, and wanted to be where he loved, on his boat on the water. I see no foul play, I see a very independent man that was fearless and lived life to the fullest. He died where he chose to die. He is happy.

After one last try to post the images, I give up. I will be back tomorrow, watching the news to see the outcome of Philip's story......

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