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Coast Guard suspends search for sailors missing in yacht accident

From Alicia Eakin, CNN
updated 11:59 AM EDT, Mon April 16, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The yacht was hit by several large waves, causing it to roll over, the Coast Guard says
  • Coast Guard: Eight people were on board the Low Speed Chase
  • The yacht race took place near the Farallon Islands, near San Francisco

(CNN) -- The Coast Guard has suspended its search for four sailors missing since Saturday after their yacht ran aground off San Francisco.

Coast Guard and Air National Guard crews spent two days searching for the four before announcing the suspension Sunday night.

"The decision to suspend a search-and-rescue case like this is never an easy one to make," said Capt. Cynthia Stowe. "The Coast Guard extends our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the lost crewmen and the deceased. They will all be in our thoughts and prayers."

Rescue after yacht race crash

At least one person died and three were rescued from the Low Speed Chase after it grounded near the Farallon Islands, 28 miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge. But the remaining four people aboard remained unaccounted for.

The 38-foot sailboat was taking part in the Full Crew Farallon Race, a contest that dates to 1907, according to the San Francisco Yacht Club.

On Sunday, the yacht club identified three of the missing sailors as Alexis Busch of Larkspur, California; Alan Cahill of Tiburon, California, and Jordan Fromm of Kentfield, California. The yacht club did not identify a fourth person because it said authorities had not notified that person's relatives. It said that Marc Kasanin, 46, of Belvedere, California, had died.

The vessel's skipper reported that the yacht was hit by a series of large waves that rolled it over, tossing several crew members overboard and running it aground, the Coast Guard said Sunday.

The search effort included three helicopters, a C-130 transport and four Coast Guard vessels, including the cutters Aspen, Pike and Sockeye.

Late last month, the Coast Guard rescued racers taking part in an around-the-world contest when a giant wave damaged their yacht off the coast of San Francisco. The Geraldton Western Australia was on the sixth leg of an eight-leg, 11-month race when it was struck March 31.

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