Skip to main content

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

By CNN Staff
February 26, 2013 -- Updated 0947 GMT (1747 HKT)
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
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1521 GMT (2321 HKT)
The first human trial of an experimental Ebola vaccine has produced promising results, U.S. scientists said.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1415 GMT (2215 HKT)
Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot unarmed black teen in August abandoned home after address made public.
November 25, 2014 -- Updated 2236 GMT (0636 HKT)
HBO -- backing a documentary based on "Going Clear," a book about Scientology and Hollywood -- isn't taking any chances with legal side.
November 26, 2014 -- Updated 1935 GMT (0335 HKT)
Grandmaster Nguyen Van Chieu has devoted his adult life to spreading the word about Vietnames martial art, Vovinam.
November 28, 2014 -- Updated 1847 GMT (0247 HKT)
England cricketer Nick Compton shares insight into "drive and courage" it takes to face fears as top batsman.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 0059 GMT (0859 HKT)
Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson says he was just doing his "job right" when he shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0118 GMT (0918 HKT)
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
Stunning stations where your first priority won't be finding the nearest exit.
November 25, 2014 -- Updated 2318 GMT (0718 HKT)
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says women's "nature is different," sparking fury.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 1043 GMT (1843 HKT)
A 30-year-old woman has been charged with attempting to kill a baby police say spent five days down a drain before being discovered by cyclists.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 0121 GMT (0921 HKT)
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0051 GMT (0851 HKT)
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 2106 GMT (0506 HKT)
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT)
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1945 GMT (0345 HKT)
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
November 28, 2014 -- Updated 1754 GMT (0154 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT