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S/V LOW SPEED CHASE Grounded Near Farallon Islands; Three Rescued, One Deceased, Four Missing

On April 14, the eight member crew of 38-foot S/V LOW SPEED CHASE was participating in the Full Crew Farallones Race around the Farallon Islands, an island group located about 27 miles west of Golden Gate, CA. At around 3:00 that afternoon, The Coast Guard at Alameda, CA, received an EPIRB signal registered to LOW SPEED CHASE, while the Coast Guard at San Francisco received a mayday call regarding the sailboat.

Immediately, the Coast Guard deployed a helicopter, a cutter, and a motor life boat, and the Air National Guard deployed two Black Hawk helicopters. Within hours, rescuers recovered three survivors, Nick Vos, Brian Chong, and James Bradford, and one deceased person, Marc Kasanin, and the search began for the four missing crewmembers. The search covered over 5,000 square miles and continued by air and sea until the difficult decision to call of the search was made just after 8:00 p.m. Sunday night. According to local reports, the four who remain missing are Alexis Busch, Jordan Fromm, Alan Cahill, all out of the Bay Area, and Elmer Morrissey of Ireland.

The master of LOW SPEED CHASE, James Bradford, reported that the vessel had been struck by a series of large waves that caused the vessel to roll numerous times. Otherwise, the conditions were considered normal with ten foot seas and 25 knot winds. Crew members fell into the sea and LOW SPEED CHASE grounded on rocks, where it remains in one piece. It is not yet known whether she is seaworthy for towing or will have to be salvaged.

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