SAN FRANCISCO -- The mysterious disappearance of two survivors of the sinking of the 51-foot ketch Freedom II has confounded officials trying to determine whether two or three women perished when the ketch went down.
'All we know for sure is that a 51-foot ketch, registered in Scottsdale, Ariz., to R.L. Dozier went down near Stinson Beach, but this case is so crazy I wouldn't even be surprised if it's not the Freedom II,' said U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Kent Freize Tuesday.
Two men, J. Paul Russell, 44, and Robert Dozier, 34, survived the break up of the ketch Thursday night, in stormy seas 15 miles north of San Francisco, and reported two women drowned, Russell's wife, Susan, and Christine Tomlin.
But the men allegedly left for Las Vegas Friday and late Saturday Russell called the Coast Guard to report that Dozier's wife, 25-year-old Sherry Ann had also been on the boat and was missing, said Marin County Sheriff's detective Linda Schmid.
Since the call from Russell Saturday the men have vanished and authorities have tried and failed to find either man.
Ms. Schmid said Russell may also have been known as John Fell. When Russell called the Coast Guard on Saturday he reportedly said any questions would be answered by his attorney, Gerald Gillock of Las Vegas.
Gillock's office said Tuesday he would release a statement when he had all the information. Earlier he reportedly told Marin authorities he did not know any of the people named.
Freize said the coast guard is trying to establish which agency has jurisdiction in the case and whether the boat's captain was negligent in the sinking of the vessel.
Detective Schmid said Coast Guard authorities would continue to lead the investigation until some criminal activity is indicated. If foul play is suspected, the sheriff's office would become involved.