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Coast Guard ends search for 4 missing yacht racers

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POSTED April 16, 2012 7:40 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The search for four yacht crew members thrown from their boat during a weekend race off Northern California was indefinitely suspended, with the Coast Guard saying the "window of survivability" had passed.

The four were part of an eight-member crew racing around the Farallon Islands Saturday when their sailboat was hit by powerful waves that forced it onto rocks.

The body of one crew member was pulled from the water hours after the accident. The three remaining crew members were rescued.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Caleb Critchfield said the search was reluctantly halted at sundown Sunday and there were no plans to resume it, after aircraft and boats searched the ocean around the islands, about 27 miles from San Francisco, for more than 30 hours.

"There's a window of survivability and we searched well beyond that window," he told The Associated Press.

The San Francisco Yacht Club identified the four as Alan Cahill, of Tiburon, Calif.; Jordan Fromm, of San Rafael, Calif.; Elmer Morrissey, of Ireland; Alexis Busch, of Larkspur, Calif.

Club director Ed Lynch he was deeply saddened by news the search had ended.

"The tragedy is incredibly difficult to deal with," he said early Monday.

Critchfield said a C-130 plane, helicopters, three Coast Guard cutters and a smaller boat searched a 5,000-square-mile area with no success.

 

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