Coast Guard suspends search for sailors

April 16, 2012 at 11:53 AM
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SAN FRANCISCO, April 16 (UPI) -- A search for four sailors missing since Saturday after their boat grounded off the coast of San Francisco during a race has been suspended, officials said.

Crews from the U.S. Coast Guard and the California Air National Guard searched with helicopters and boats after the 38-foot Low Speed Chase went aground near the Farallon Islands during the full Crew Farallon Race Saturday afternoon, the Coast Guard said. The search was suspended at 8:04 p.m. PST Sunday.

Besides the missing, three of the eight people who had been on the sailboat were rescued and the body of a crew member was found.

"The decision to suspend a search-and-rescue case like this is never an easy one to make," Coast Guard Capt. Cynthia Stowe, Sector San Francisco commanding officer, said in a news release. "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."

The San Francisco Yacht Club said in a news release Low Speed Chase was one of its member boats and the accident apparently occurred as the sailboat was rounding South Farallon Island.

The race began in San Francisco and boats sailed around the island, 28 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge, the yacht club said.

The Full Crew Farallon Race has been held since 1907.

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