The U.S. Coast Guard is helping Mexican Navy crews search for three U.S. sailors last reported on April 4 near Mazatlán, Mexico, according to a Coast Guard press release.
According to a joint statement from their families, Kerry O’Brien, Frank O’Brien and William Gross are “experienced sailors.” The Coast Guard said they were on board the 44-foot sailboat La Fitte Ocean Bound when they left the Mexican city of Mazatlán en route to San Diego.
“The sailors planned to stop in Cabo San Lucas on April 6 for provisions and to report before heading to San Diego,” the press release said.
“However, there was no record of their arrival in Cabo San Lucas or reports of their whereabouts.”
The press release said rescue coordinators contacted docks throughout Baja, Mexico, but the ship was not sighted.
“Urgent maritime information messages have been transmitted via VHF radio asking all sailors to keep an eye on the missing people and vessel,” the Coast Guard said.
Coast Guard officials are urging anyone with information about sailors or a sailing vessel to contact the Coast Guard Search and Rescue Coordination Center at 510-437-3701.
According to a joint statement by their families, the three Americans are “all seasoned sailors.”
“Bill has over 50 years sailing experience and is an extremely talented coastal cruiser. Kerry and Frank have 20 years of sailing experience together and are both licensed captains in the US Coast Guard,” the statement said.
Ocean Bound, described as a “strong old vessel”, left Mazatlán on April 4 at approximately 9:30 am local time. It headed “across the Sea of Cortez, a short stop was scheduled at Cabo San Lucas, and then sail along the Baja coast to San Diego,” the statement said. When they didn’t check in by the weekend, the Coast Guard was notified.
“The sound of a cell phone from 04/04/2023 shows that off the coast of Mazatlán, a call is being made to the marina in Cabo San Lucas,” relatives say.
Their families assume they were trying to reserve tickets at the pier. But because all the calls made were so short, it is believed that attempts to reach someone were unsuccessful, the statement said. These calls are the last known contact with Ocean Bound.
According to the family, the Coast Guard “has a current ‘travel forecast’ if Ocean Bound simply loses radio contact and continues its journey to San Diego north or south of Turtle Bay (Bahia Tortugas) on the Baja Peninsula and focus on searching. there, in addition to long-range aircraft flights along the Baja Peninsula.”
According to the statement, the parameters are reevaluated every night to redefine the search for the next day.
“The sailing community has hundreds of additional vessels looking for members of our family,” the joint statement said.
The families thanked the Mexican Navy and the US Coast Guard for their search and rescue efforts.
“They communicated all their efforts with kindness and compassion more than once a day,” the statement said.