Puerto Vallarta (PVDN) – The US Coast Guard is assisting Mexican navy crews in the search for three American sailors, last heard from on April 4 near Mazatlán, Mexico, according to a Coast Guard news release.
Kerry O’Brien, Frank O’Brien and William Gross are all “experienced sailors,” according to a joint statement from their families. They were aboard the Ocean Bound, a 44-foot La Fitte sailing vessel, when they left the Mexican city of Mazatlán en route to San Diego, the Coast Guard said.
“The sailors planned to stop in Cabo San Lucas on April 6 for provisions and to report in before continuing on to San Diego,” the news release said.
“However, there was no record of them arriving in Cabo San Lucas or a report in of their location.”
Rescue coordinators have contacted marinas throughout Baja, Mexico, but there have been no sightings of the vessel, the news release said.
“Urgent marine information broadcasts have been issued over VHF radio requesting all mariners to keep a lookout for the missing persons and vessel,” the Coast Guard said.
Coast Guard officials urge anyone with information on the sailors or the sailing vessel to please contact the Coast Guard search and rescue coordination center at 510-437-3701.
The three Americans “are all experienced sailors,” according to a joint statement from their families.
“Bill has over 50 years of sailing experience and is an extremely talented coastal cruiser. Kerry and Frank have 20 years sailing together and both hold captains licenses with the US Coast Guard,” according to the statement.
Ocean Bound, described as “a sturdy older vessel,” departed Mazatlán on April 4 at about 9:30 a.m. local time. It headed “across the Sea of Cortez, a short stop had been planned in Cabo San Lucas and then to sail up the coast of Baja to San Diego,” the statement said. When they didn’t check in by the weekend, the Coast Guard was notified.
“Cell phone pings on 4/4/2023 show off the coast of Mazatlan as calls to marinas in Cabo San Lucas,” according to the families.
Their families presume they were trying to make slip reservations at the marina. But, because all the calls made were so short, it’s believed the attempts to reach someone were unsuccessful, said the statement. That calls are the last known contact with the Ocean Bound.
According to family, the Coast Guard “has a current ‘travel projection’ if Ocean Bound simply lost radio contact and continued her journey to San Diego at just North or South of Turtle Bay (Bahia Tortugas) on the Baja Peninsula and is focused on searching there, in addition to long aircraft sweeps along the Baja Peninsula.”
The parameters are reassessed each night to redefine the search the next day, according to the statement.
“The sailing community has hundreds of additional vessels looking for our family members,” said the joint statement.
The families thanked the Mexican Navy and US Coast Guard for their search and rescue operations.
“They have communicated all of their efforts with kindness and compassion more than once a day,” said the statement.
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