Four people missing in sailboat mishap off northern California

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 25, 2013 3:12 AM

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The U.S. Coast Guard searched on Sunday for two adults and two children missing with their sailboat after sending a distress call that their vessel was in trouble along the California coast south of San Francisco, the agency said.

The 29-foot craft was about 65 miles off the coast of Pillar Point, at the northern end of Half Moon Bay, when a member of the crew radioed late Sunday afternoon that the vessel was taking on water and that its electronics were failing, the Coast Guard said.

About an hour later, the vessel operator reported that the four people aboard the boat, two of them children under the age of 8, were abandoning the craft, and the Coast Guard lost radio communications with them.

The Coast Guard said in a statement that the four people from the missing vessel, believed to be named the Charmblow, might have made it into a makeshift life raft, but that their fate was not known.

Local television station KTVU reported that victims lacked life rafts or survival suits and planned to tie a cooler and other materials together to give them a means of floatation until they could be rescued.

Coast Guard aircraft and sea vessels conducted several searches of the area without success, and additional Coast Guard resources were to join in the operation, the agency said in its statement.

(Reporting by Ronnie Cohen; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Pravin Char)