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UPDATE: Search and Rescue Suspended in the Farallon Islands

The CA 129th Rescue Wing and US Coast Guard have recovered four but stopped the search effort for four race participants. One confirmed dead.

UPDATE: Search and Rescue Suspended in the Farallon Islands

Updated at 12:01 a.m. Monday, Apr. 16 with decision from U.S. Coast Guard.

The United States Coast Guard announced late Sunday that search and rescue effort for the four missing crew members of the Low Speed Chase have been suspended.

"The decision to suspend a search and rescue case like this is never an easy one to make," said Captain Cynthia Stowe, Sector San Francisco commanding officer. "The Coast Guard extends our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the lost crewmen and the deceased. They will all be in our thoughts and prayers."

The search for crew members began Saturday afternoon after a fatal boating accident during a yacht race off the shores of San Francisco left one person dead and fours others missing. The accident occurred after the Low Speed Chase, a 38-foot yacht, ran aground in the Farallon Islands Saturday afternoon, 45 miles west of San Francisco, during the 2012 Full Crew Farallones Race Apr. 14 to 15, 2012.

Three people have been rescued following the 3 p.m. accident.

Late Saturday, the 129th Rescue Wing, in a joint operation with the U.S. Coast Guard, launched 2 HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters and four Guardian Angel Pararescuemen to conduct a search and rescue mission approximately 27 miles off the coast of San Francisco, according to the 129th's Facebook page.

Officials with the 129th explained that a large wave hit the civilian vessel and washed crew members overboard before slamming the boat onto rocks near the island. Upon arrival on scene April 14, rescued a crew member to safety and recovered a dead body, while Coast Guard helicopters recovered two survivors.

More than 60 boats had signed up for the annual yacht race, according to the Yacht Racing Association of San Francisco Bay's web site.

All other boats returned safely, according to Gerry Brown, chairman of the board. Conditions on the water were "normal," with 10 foot waves and 25 knot waves, he noted.

The Low Speed Chase was being skippered by James Bradford, according to a list of race participants on the association web site. Brown described the crew only as "young people."

Additional reporting by Bay City News.


Correction: Search continues for four crew members not three.

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