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Search continues for family who abandoned sinking sailboat
February 25, 2013, 05:00 AM Bay City News
he U.S. Coast Guard is continuing to search ocean waters this morning for a man, woman and two children who went missing after their 29-foot sailboat started taking on water Sunday afternoon.

The Coast Guard Sector San Francisco received a radio distress call from the boat, possibly named the Charmblow, at about 4:20 p.m.

The man, who was on the boat with his wife, their 4-year-old son and the boy's cousin, who is under the age of 8, told the Coast Guard the vessel's electronics system was failing, Coast Guard Lt. Heather Lampert said.

It was initially believed that the boat was about 65 miles off the coast of Pillar Point, but it now appears the vessel was actually farther to the south, off the Monterey coast, Lampert said.

"They didn't have a working GPS on board, so we were never able to get an accurate fix on where their vessel was," she said.

The radio communication was short and choppy, but in the last dispatch at 5:30 p.m., the man said the family was abandoning the sailboat.

"They had a life ring and a cooler that they were stringing together to try to stay afloat," Lampert said.

She said there were no emergency positioning beacons on the boat, and no survival suits, which she described as red body suits similar to wetsuits designed keep people warm and floating.

It is not clear where the family is from, and Lampert said she is not aware of any missing-persons reports that would help the Coast Guard identify them.

The Coast Guard scoured the waters overnight by boat and with a C-130 aircraft, and the search is continuing this morning with a 210-foot cutter, an 87-foot patrol boat, a 47-foot motor lifeboat and two helicopters, Lampert said.

Anyone with information about the incident or the family is asked to call the Coast Guard immediately at (415) 399-3547.

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