1969年2月16日几艘外国人驾驶的游艇在从香港前往澳门途中被大陆方面拦截，4月初船上的各国乘客陆续被释放，但其中的两名美国人Simeon Baldwin, Jr.和Mrs. Bessie Hope Donald则仍然被扣留。
5月29日，美国红十字会会长James F. Collins致信中国红十字会会长钱信忠，询问关于这两名美国人的现状，稍后美国驻香港代理总领事将这封信的副本交给港府政治顾问（即Political Adviser，这是英国外交部驻香港的首席代表）Arthur Maddocks，并解释说美国总领事馆其实反对红十字会这么早就致信中方，因为美方可以采取的动作非常有限，在预料这两名美国人将被长期扣押的情况下，应该尽量推迟正式联系中方的第一步，而且总领事馆认为中国红十字会原会长钱信忠在文革中已被打倒，致信他毫无意义。（按：钱信忠1965年接替李德全担任中国卫生部部长和中国红十字会会长）
6月4日Maddocks将这封信告知英国外交部远东司司长James Murray，并附送给英国外交部助理次官Wilford和英国驻华代办John Denson。
LOWER ALBERT ROAD
REF. CR 2/5061/69
4 June, 1969.
American Yachtsmen in China
The Acting U.S. Consul-General has given me a copy of the letter which has been addressed to the Chinese Red Cross by the American Red Cross concerning Baldwin and Mrs. Donald. I enclose a copy.
2. Jacobson explained that the letter had been sent without any consultation with the Consulate-General who had in fact earlier advised the State Department against any such action for the time being. The reason for this advice was that the Consulate- General realise there is extremely little the U.S. Government can do and as Baldwin and Mrs. Donald may be in China for a long time it is advisable to postpone as long as possible taking one of the few available actions. The Consulate-General also think that the Mr. Chien who is addressed and is supposed to be the President of the Chinese Red Cross has in fact disappeared during the Cultural Revolution.
3. I am sending a copy of this letter to John Denson and Michael Wilford.
James Murray, Esq., CMG,
Far Eastern Department,
Foreign & Commonwealth Office,
Dear Mr. Chien:
Three months ago the press reported a number of yachts, while sailing from Hong Kong to Macau, may have strayed into the territorial waters of your country, where they were seized and the crews and passengers held.
It is our understanding that at the present time only two of these individuals, Simeon Baldwin, Jr., and Mrs. Bessie Hope Donald, who are Americans, are still being detained. Their relatives have repeatedly asked us for information concerning their health and welfare, but regretably we have no details to share with them.
Would it be possible for you to secure some information concerning these two Americans, who, we understand, are being held, together with their yacht, somewhere near Macau? We would, of course, be willing to provide our friendly services in the event this would be useful in effecting the release and return of these two persons.
Any information you can share with us will be deeply appreciated by the members of their families and ourselves as well.
James F. Collins
American Red Cross