Family Missing From Sinking Sailboat in Monterey Bay Area

The Coast Guard is searching for two adults and two children who abandoned their sailboat when it began taking on water Sunday afternoon.

The U.S. Coast Guard is continuing to search ocean waters this morning for a man, woman and two children who went missing after their  29-foot sailboat started taking on water Sunday afternoon.

The Coast Guard Sector San Francisco received a radio distress call from the boat, possibly named the Charmblow, at about 4:20 p.m.

The man, who was on the boat with his wife, their 4-year-old son and the boy's cousin, who is under the age of 8, told the Coast Guard the vessel's electronics system was failing, Coast Guard Lt. Heather Lampert said.

It was initially believed that the boat was about 65 miles off the coast of Pillar Point, but it now appears the vessel was actually farther to the south, off the Monterey coast, Lampert said.

"They didn't have a working GPS on board, so we were never able to get an accurate fix on where their vessel was," she said.

The radio communication was short and choppy, but in the last dispatch at 5:30 p.m., the man said the family was abandoning the sailboat.

"They had a life ring and a cooler that they were stringing  together to try to stay afloat," Lampert said.

She said there were no emergency positioning beacons on the boat, and no survival suits, which she described as red body suits similar to wetsuits designed keep people warm and floating.

It is not clear where the family is from, and Lampert said she is not aware of any missing-persons reports that would help the Coast Guard identify them.

The Coast Guard scoured the waters overnight by boat and with a C-130 aircraft, and the search is continuing this morning with a 210-foot cutter, an 87-foot patrol boat, a 47-foot motor lifeboat and two helicopters, Lampert said.

Anyone with information about the incident or the family is asked to call the Coast Guard immediately at (415) 399-3547.


Original story 2/24/13 11:35 p.m.

The Coast Guard is reporting that four people are missing after they abandoned their sailboat when it began taking on water Sunday afternoon.

Coast Guard officials said they received a distress call from someone aboard a 29-foot sailboat that was 65-miles away from Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay at round 4:20 p.m.

According to a KTVU report, the person on board the boat said the boat was taking on water and the vessel's electronics were failing. The GPS on board was broken, but the Coast Guard located the boat 65-miles off the coast of Pillar Point, drifting towards Santa Cruz.

Two adults and two children under 8 were on the boat and they told the Coast Guard they had to abandon ship at around 5:30 p.m., said Coast Guard Lt. Heather Lampert.

In the last communication the Coast Guard had with the passengers, they said they didn't have any life rafts or survival suits on board and planned to tie a cooler and life rings together to create a life boat.

Officials said they didn't know the name of the boat, the name of the occupants and where the boat came from and where it was headed.

Coast Guard helicopters, airplanes and boats are searching the area, but have so far not located the missing boaters.

The Coast Guard is asking anyone with any information regarding the incident to notify the Coast Guard immediately at (415) 399-3547.

Patch will update this story as more information becomes available.

— Bay City News contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2013 by Bay City News, Inc. — Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

Maryanne Porter February 25, 2013 at 06:52 PM
Oh my gosh how sad, i pray they find them! How frightning to be a drift with small children and no communication in a big empty ocean. Saying prayers they are found and well.


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