Skip to main content

'This is the Charm Blow, we are abandoning ship'

By CNN Staff
updated 4:47 AM EST, Tue February 26, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Coast Guard will continue search into Tuesday, spokeswoman says
  • Coast Guard appeals to the public for help in identifying the missing family
  • A couple, their 4-year-old child and a cousin are missing, the Coast Guard says
  • The boat was taking on water, the Coast Guard says

(CNN) -- "This is the Charm Blow, we are abandoning ship."

With that message -- delivered at 4:20 p.m. Sunday -- radio communication between the boat and the Coast Guard went dead.

Since then, searchers have been scouring the waters off San Francisco for the reported occupants of a 29-foot sailboat -- a couple, their 4-year-old child and the child's cousin, who the Coast Guard said is younger than 8.

Coast Guard spokeswoman Pamela Boehland said the search will continue through the night.

The man had called the Coast Guard an hour earlier to say that the boat had begun taking on water and its electronics were failing, the Coast Guard said. At that time, the boat was some 65 miles (105 kilometers) off Pillar Point, south of San Francisco.

Family: 'We are abandoning ship'

The four might have boarded a life raft, said the Coast Guard, which appealed to the public for help Monday in identifying the missing seafarers.

"We don't have a lot of information to go on," 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."

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

Several aircraft and vessels have joined the search.

Asked about the possibility that the report could be a hoax, given that no one has come forward to identify a family as missing, the Coast Guard said that it operates under the assumption that such reports are legitimate.

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.

Computer models will factor in currents, weather and wind to create search patterns to focus searchers' efforts, he said.

The search will continue until the four are found or until the limits of survivability have passed, he said.

Three years later, no sign of missing family

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 1:18 PM EDT, Fri August 1, 2014
This is how the two U.S. aid workers infected with Ebola will be evacuated from west Africa.
updated 2:18 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
While aspects of the fighting in Gaza resemble earlier clashes, this time feels different, writes military analyst Rick Francona.
updated 2:29 PM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
How did al Qaeda recruit a former Florida high school footballer?
updated 7:08 AM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Flowers, a teddy bear and the smells of jet fuel and death haunt the MH17 crash site.
updated 11:54 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
If India and the U.S. were Facebook friends, the relationship between them would be "complicated." Can John Kerry's visit change that?
This looks like a ghost ship, but it's actually the site of a tense international standoff between the Philippines and China.
updated 8:48 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Sure, Fido is a brown Lab. But inside, he may also be a little green.
updated 9:03 AM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Photograph of an undisclosed location by Patrycja Makowska
Patrycja Makowska likes to give enigmatic names to the extraordinarily beautiful photographs she shoots of crumbling palaces.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
updated 2:35 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
Take a look inside Airbus' new -- and surprisingly quiet -- A350XWB.
updated 11:31 PM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
What're you doing after work today? If you lived in these cities you could head to the BEACH!
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT