Search suspended for 3 U.S. sailors missing off Mexican coast
The search for three Americans who went missing earlier this month while sailing off the coast of Mexico has been suspended, authorities said Wednesday.
The U.S. Coast Guard said that it was informed by the Mexican Navy that it had suspended its search for Kerry O’Brien, Frank O’Brien and William Gross. The Coast Guard had been assisting in the search effort.
The three were last heard from on April 4 near Mazatlán, Mexico, according to the Coast Guard. They had been sailing aboard the “Ocean Bound” a 44-foot Lafitte sailboat.
The sailors had left Mazatlán en route to San Diego, the Coast Guard said, and had been scheduled to stop in Cabo San Lucas on April 6, but they never arrived. Their last known communication came April 4, when they made calls requesting a stop in Cabo San Lucas for food and fuel.
The Coast Guard said Wednesday that its joint search effort with the Mexican Navy consisted of a cumulative 281 search hours, and covered just over 200,000 square nautical miles.
The search focused on Mexico’s northern Pacific coast, and resulted in no sign of either the missing sailors or their sailboat, the Coast Guard said.
Kerry and Frank O’Brien are a married couple. Kerry’s mother, Ellen Argall, told CBS News earlier this week that her daughter and son-in-law have sailed together for nearly 20 years and are both licensed boat captains. They asked Gross, who had 50 years of experience, to journey with them.
“It’s agony, pure agony,” Argall said. “I’ve been trying to hold myself together.”
There were reports of poor weather conditions the day they departed Mazatlán, the Coast Guard had said, and Ocean Bound’s navigational equipment was older.
“It’s a long trip for even in good conditions,” a Coast Guard spokesperson told CBS News.
— Elise Preston contributed to this report.