Coast Guard Search Continues West of San Francisco For Four People


Coast Guard Search Continues West of San Francisco For Four People

The Coast Guard continues to search for four people 65 miles off of the coast of San Francisco.  The four are a couple and their 4 year old son, and the boy’s cousin, who is under 8 years of age.

“This is the Charm Blow, we are abandoning ship.”  That was the last communication the Coast Guard received.  The man had called about an hour earlier and said that their 29 foot sailboat was taking on water, and their communications were failing.

There is no way of knowing if they had a life raft on board.  The Coast Guard is broadening the search in all directions.  It’s difficult to calculate how far they might have drifted in the hours’ time between radio contacts.

“We don’t have a lot of information to go on,” Petty Officer Pam Boehland told CNN. “All we know is that there were those four people on board and the two young children, and we’re hoping that there is still time to save them.”

If the boat did not have a life raft, the chances of survival are slim, said Mario Vittone, a recently retired Coast Guard helicopter rescue swimmer and a marine safety specialist. “They’re not going to live long, even in life jackets,” he said. “That’s cold water out there.”

According to the National Oceanographic Data Center, the water temperature off San Francisco was 49.3 degrees Fahrenheit (9.6 C).

Marine accidents in waters below 50 degrees F are five times more likely to end in death, Vittone said.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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