Irish men missing in San Francisco 'best sailors on the bay'
Friends and family shocked as search for missing sailors passes “survivability” time frame
The families of Alan Cahill (36) and Dr Elmer Morrissey (32), the two Irish sailors feared drowned after a San Francisco yacht race, are heart-broken having been told the search for the men is being called off.
The US Coast Guard informed the families of all four missing sailors from the incident. The crew was swept overboard as their boat, Low Speed Chase, a 12-meter boat, was struck by massive waves on Saturday.
They have now confirmed that the search for the four sailors has been called off. Petty Officer Caleb Critchfield, told the Evening Herald in Dublin, that there were no plans to resume the search operation which had included up to ten planes, helicopters, and vessels.
He said, “There is a window of survivability and we searched well beyond that window.”
The Irishmen were part of an eight-person crew. The boat was owned by James Cradford (41). All crew members were wearing life vests.
They were racing around the Farallon Islands, 45 kilometers off the California coast.
The others missing were Alexis Busch (26) and Jordan Fromm (25) both from California. The other man who went over board was Marc Kasanin (46). He was found dead in the water.
Cynthia Stowe, a captain with the Coast Guard said, “The decision to suspend a search and rescue case like this is never an easy one to make. 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.”
All vessels and aircraft in the area west of San Francisco Bay are being asked to remain vigilant for the missing four crewmen, including the two Irishmen.
The boat was skippered by its owner, James Bradford (41), on Saturday. He survived the accident along with Nick Vos and Bryan Chong.
On Saturday, Bradford swung the boat around after the other crew were washed overboard. His boat was enveloped by another wave and sent to crash against the rocks of the Southeast Farallon Island.
A friend of Marc Kasanin, Chris Povio, told the San Francisco Chronicle, “These were some of the best sailors on the bay. It really makes you second-guess these races. I know a lot of people are thinking twice about racing now."
"Everything was just so intuitive for them," said Keri Spiller, a fellow sailor. "The Bay Area can be a very tricky place to sail - there's a lot of different winds, a lot of currents. But they really knew what they were doing. They just talked about it like talking about the weather.”
Both Irish families, the Cahills and Morrisseys, plan to travel to San Francisco immediately.
The Cahills are travelling to support their son’s American wife, Shannon, and her two children. Alan and Shannon married two years ago and planned to return to Ireland on vacation this summer.
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