Crews looks for 4 in waters south of San Francisco

AP News
Posted: Feb 25, 2013 2:57 AM

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (AP) — The Coast Guard was searching the rough waters south of San Francisco late Sunday for four people, including two children under 8, who went missing after they reported their sailboat was sinking.

The group was approximately 65 miles off Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay around 4:20 p.m. Sunday when they made a distress call, Lt. Heather Lampert said.

The group said their 29-foot sailboat was taking on water and their electronics were failing. The bay about 25 miles south of San Francisco.

An hour later, the group reported that it was forced to abandon their boat. They didn't have life rafts on board, Lampert said, and were trying to make one out of a cooler and life preserver ring.

Lampert said the Coast Guard then lost radio contact with the group.

The National Weather Service had issued an advisory throughout the weekend warning boaters of strong winds and rough seas around the Bay Area.

Mariners "operating smaller vessels should avoid navigating in these conditions," the advisory said.

Lampert said Coast Guard crews have conducted several searches using a fleet of boats, helicopters and airplanes, but have not yet found signs of the group.

More searchers from the California Air National Guard, and Coast Guardsmen aboard a 210-foot cutter, were expected to join the search through the night.

Half Moon Bay is about 25 miles south of San Francisco.