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Coast Guard suspends search for family missing at sea, citing possible hoax

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(CNN) – The U.S. Coast Guard is suspending its search off the California coast for a distressed 29-foot sailboat that was carrying a couple and two children, and explained the incident is “possibly a hoax,” Cmdr. Don Montoro said Tuesday.

The mission’s cost has reached hundreds of thousands of dollars since Sunday, he said.

Searchers have been scouring the water off San Francisco for the people distress calls said were on the boat. That included the couple, their 4-year-old child and the child’s cousin, who the Coast Guard said was younger than 8.

On Sunday afternoon, the Coast Guard received a radio communication that stated: “This is the Charm Blow, we are abandoning ship.”

The man on the radio told the Coast Guard that the boat had begun taking on water and its electronics were failing, the agency said. At that time, the boat was believed to be some 65 miles (105 kilometers) off Pillar Point, south of San Francisco.

The focus of the search had been 60 to 65 miles off Monterey Bay, said Lt. Heather Lampert, a Coast Guard spokeswoman.

Several aircraft and vessels joined the search.


  • Tina Huckabay

    I have been praying so hard for these people ever since i noticed the story on my computer!! It has me wondering why no one has called to say these people were missing.Hopefully they will be found.

    God Help Us All

    • Just saying

      Don't you think it's strange that the cousin's family hasn't reported these missing persons, or called authorities if they have had contact. One would think that they were aware of where their brother/sister was heading with their child and know the name of the boat

  • midwest mom of3

    I too am praying. I am praying these people get the help they need. Whether it be a false report or a true call for help. I find it odd they were out on the boat. Granted im not anywhere near California but if the water is less than 50degrees don't that mean the weather was a little chilly? Here we don't usually take the boats out until its around mid 70s. If they called in a hour previous with mechanical issues why didn't the coast guard send help out then? Its just odd to me.

    • Holly

      Actually, it was a beautiful day here on Sunday. We often go out sailing on days like we had on Sunday. The water may have been cold, but it was sunny, and warm (for the time of year). It's unfortunate that when they made the first call the Coastguard didn't immediately send out a helicopter to find them, or if they did, they were unable to. Lakes tend to warm up very quickly with warm weather. Being such a large body of water, the ocean takes a lot more to change temperatures, and the water is constantly moving and mixing due to the current and upwelling of cold water from the deep. Even in the summertime, here in Santa Cruz, on the Monterey Bay, we rarely ever see water temperatures over 65F.

  • The_IR8PIR8

    As to the commentary of the water temp off SF…It is usually cold due to the current that comes near the coast. It's fluctuation is only around 8 degrees the whole year with 53 being this months mean temperature. Hypothermia leading to death in 50 degree water usually occurs in about 1 hour. That is the rule of thumb but let's hope these people will be the exception to the rule. Being a lifetime sailor I hope they had the provisions for something like this for as most sailors know that once you go below the waterline you enter the food chain and this not being our ideal element, Man is not @ the top here.

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