Saturday, December 16, 2006

Coast Guard Searching For Crew Of Wrecked Boat From San Francisco

The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for the three-person crew of a catamaran that set sail from San Francisco for Seattle a week ago and was found wrecked near Lincoln City, Ore. The boat, which is between 40 and 50 feet in length, was last seen leaving San Francisco on Dec. 8 and was spotted upside down around 50 feet from the Lincoln City shore around 10 a.m. today, according to the Coast Guard. Investigators are trying to find out when and where the crew was lost, and hope the public can help, Coast Guard District 13 spokesman Petty Officer Shawn Eggert said.Three Coast Guard helicopters flew over the shoreline and sea near the wreck looking for the crew, and fire and rescue teams from Oregon were making plans to search the vessel, the Coast Guard reported. A search plane crew from Air Station Sacramento was also sent to look for the crew. Eggert said the owner of the boat lives in Renton, Wash., and had hired a crew to bring the boat from South Africa to Seattle. It wasn't clear whether the same crew had brought the catamaran from South Africa to the U.S. or whether they had sailed it all the way. Weather conditions in the past week from the Puget Sound in Washington south to Oregon have been `very rough,'' especially at sea, Eggert said. Swells have been between 30 and 40 feet with gusts at a steady 35 knots down the northwestern coast, he said. Anyone who may have seen the boat in transit is asked to contact Coast Guard District 13 Command Center at (800) 982-8813.

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