The Coast Guard are actively searching off Monterey for a family of four — a married couple, their four-year-old son, and his under-eight-year-old cousin — who reported their sailboat was sinking yesterday afternoon. Around 4:30 p.m., crew from the 29-ft sailboat Charm Blow (make unknown) radioed the Coast Guard that their boat was taking on water off Pillar Point and their electronics were failing. An hour later, the crew notified the Coast Guard they were abandoning ship, but that they didn’t have a liferaft or EPIRB aboard. Instead, they said they were fashioning a makeshift liferaft using a cooler and a lifering. It was unclear if there were PFDs aboard. After that transmission, the Coasties lost communications.
Using the radio transmission, the Coast Guard used a line of bearing from a radio tower to determine the vessel’s actual position was about 65 miles off Monterey. Several Coast Guard and Air National Guard assets, including C-130 aircraft, H-60 helos and several patrol boats, began searching immediately, with the boats continuing through the night. This morning the aircraft returned to the search zone, but as of 11 a.m., no signs of the crew, the boat or any wreckage has been spotted.
USCG Lt. Tim Martin reported that due to the garbled transmission, they’re not entirely certain that Charm Blow is the boat’s actual name. They’re requesting that anyone who might have an idea who the crewmembers are, where the boat was sailing from and where it was heading, contact the Sector San Francisco SAR Command Center at (415) 399-3547.