The search for three Americans who went missing two weeks ago after sailing off the coast of Mexico to California has been called off, authorities in both countries said.
The U.S. Coast Guard in Alameda, California, said wednesday that the Mexican Navy, known as SEMAR, had informed the agency that it had suspended its search for the three people after a cumulative effort of 281 hours covering just over 200,000 square nautical miles.
The missing persons, a woman and two men identified as Kerry O’Brien, Frank O’Brien and William Gross, were sailing aboard the Ocean Bound, a 44ft La Fitte sailboat. They were last heard from on April 4, while near Mazatlán, Mexico, the Coast Guard said in a news release. The Coast Guard did not specify their ages on Thursday.
The three travelers had left Mazatlán en route to San Diego, and they were scheduled to stop in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on April 6 to restock on supplies, according to the Coast Guard.
“However, they did not show up or arrive in Cabo San Lucas,” the Coast Guard said.
On Saturday, the Coast Guard shared information and photos of the missing sailors and the ship.
The Coast Guard said the search encompassed “an area larger than the state of California” off Mexico’s northern Pacific coast, but there was no sign of the missing boat or its passengers. The Coast Guard and the Mexican Navy worked together to coordinate and conduct the search.
As part of the effort, maritime broadcasts were sent by VHF radio, but they gave no clues to the missing travelers.
“An extensive search was conducted by our international search and rescue partner, Mexico, with the U.S. Coast Guard and Canada providing additional search assets,” said Cmdr. Coast Guard District 11 command center chief Gregory Higgins said in a statement. “Unfortunately, we found no evidence of the whereabouts of the three Americans or what might have happened.”
He added that “our deepest condolences go out to the families and friends” of the three sailors. Their relatives could not be reached immediately on Thursday.
On Tuesday, Heather Alcazar, one of Mr. Gross’s daughters, thanked the Coast Guard, the Mexican Navy, the Canadian Navy and the boating community for their research efforts in a social media post.
“Our hope is that our father, Kerry, and Frank will arrive in port soon, tired and sore, but safe,” she wrote.
Ms O’Brien’s mother, Ellen Argall, told CBS News this week that Frank and Kerry O’Brien are married and both are licensed boat captains and have been sailing for almost 20 years. They had invited their friend, Mr. Gross, to join them on this trip.
“It’s agony, pure agony,” Ms Argall said in that interview. “I tried to stand up.”