June 21, 2024

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Search Halted for 3 Americans Missing Off the Mexican Coast

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The search for three Americans who were reported missing two weeks ago, after sailing off the coast of Mexico to California, has been called off, the authorities in both countries said.

The U.S. Coast Guard in Alameda, Calif., said on Wednesday that the Mexican Navy, known as SEMAR, had informed the agency that it had suspended its search for the three people after an effort of a cumulative 281 hours covering just over 200,000 square nautical miles.

The missing people, a woman and two men identified as Kerry O’Brien, Frank O’Brien and William Gross, were sailing aboard the Ocean Bound, a 44-foot La Fitte sailboat. They were last heard from on April 4, when they were near Mazatlán, Mexico, the Coast Guard said in a news release. The Coast Guard did not specify their ages on Thursday.

The three travelers had left Mazatlán on their way to San Diego, and they were scheduled to stop in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on April 6 to resupply with provisions, according to the Coast Guard.

“However, they did not report in or arrive in Cabo San Lucas,’’ the Coast Guard said.

On Saturday, the Coast Guard shared information and photos of the missing sailors and the vessel.

The Coast Guard said the search encompassed “an area larger than the state of California” off Mexico’s northern Pacific Coast, but there were no signs of the missing boat or its passengers. The Coast Guard and the Mexican Navy worked together in coordinating and conducting the search.

As part of the effort, marine broadcasts were dispatched over VHF radio, but they did not yield any clues on the missing travelers.

“An exhaustive search was conducted by our international search-and-rescue partner, Mexico, with the U.S. Coast Guard and Canada providing additional search assets,” Cmdr. Gregory Higgins, command center chief of Coast Guard District 11, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, we found no evidence of the three Americans’ whereabouts or what might have happened.”

He added that “our deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends” of the three sailors. Their relatives could not be immediately reached on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Heather Alcazar, one of Mr. Gross’s daughters, thanked the Coast Guard, the Mexican Navy, the Canadian Navy and the boating community for their search efforts in a social media post.

“Our hope is for our dad, Kerry, and Frank to be sailing into port soon, tired and sore, but safe,” she wrote.

Ms. O’Brien’s mother, Ellen Argall, told CBS News this week that Frank and Kerry O’Brien are married and that both are licensed boat captains and have sailed for nearly 20 years. They had invited their friend, Mr. Gross, to join them on this trip.

“It’s agony, pure agony,” Ms. Argall said in that interview. “I’ve been trying to hold myself together.”

Johnny Diaz

2023-04-20 21:56:48

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