04/19/2023 08:14 PM EDT
The U.S. Coast Guard has been informed that the Mexican Navy (SEMAR) has suspended their search for three American mariners aboard the sailing vessel Ocean Bound, which was last heard from on April 4 near Mazatlán, Mexico. The search was suspended pending further developments after SEMAR and U.S. Coast Guard responders conducted 281 cumulative search hours covering approximately 200,057 square nautical miles, an area larger than the state of California, off Mexico’s northern Pacific coast with no sign of the missing sailing vessel nor its passengers.
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RCC Alameda has requested assistance with an overdue Bolo for SV Ocean Bound on passage from Mazatlan, Mexico. The SV left on Tuesday April 04, 2023 and was enroute to Cabo Mexico for the evening. It then had planned to head north to San Diego, California.
The SV is a 45 foot La Fitte with a black hull and with a red stripe. All vessels are requested to keep a sharp lookout and make all reports to the USCG.
On board the SV are Kerry O’Brien, Frank O’Brien and Bill Gross.
From Boat Watch Facebook Group
The families of Kerry and Frank O’Brien and William (Bill) Gross in addition to the sailing community are pleading to the people of Southern California and in the region of Baja. And as far reaching as we can go into South America.
Kerry, Frank and Bill are missing aboard the O’Briens vessel Ocean Bound.
Kerry, Frank and Bill are all experienced sailors, Bill has over 50 years of sailing experience and is an extremely talented coastal cruiser. Kerry and Frank have 20 years sailing together and both hold Captains licenses with the US Coast Guard. Ocean Bound is a sturdy older vessel and by many accounts is one of the best sailboats ever constructed. It can be argued that by todays standards it is lacking technology. There is also an argument for these sailors who’ve been reading star charts and coastal navigation for most of their lives. Technology can fail simply due to one wire or a power outage. Their collective knowledge and experience will not fail.
SV Ocean Bound departed Mazatlan Mexico on Tuesday 4/4/2023 at approximately 9:30am with a Westward heading across the Sea of Cortez, a short stop had been planned in Cabo San Lucas and then to sail up the coast of Baja to San Diego, California. When the 3 did not check in by the weekend the report was made to the US Coast Guard.
Cell phone pings on 4/4/2023 show off the coast of Mazatlan as calls to marinas in Cabo San Lucas. All calls were short and it’s presumed they were trying to make slip/ball reservations. Based on the short calls they were unsuccessful. This is the last known contact of Kerry, Frank and Bill. The vessel, Kerry, Frank and Bill are currently missing/overdue. There has been no radio contact to or from Ocean Bound and her crew.
The Mexican Navy (CMAR/SEMAR) is working with the United States Coast Guard (USCG) in search and rescue operations. In roughly 48 hours the USCG will turn physical efforts (ships/aircraft) over to CMAR/SEMAR and will be an investigation entity and send ships or planes as requested by CMAR/SEMAR.
The sailing community has hundreds of additional vessels looking for our family members. Sadly they have not seen or made contact with them either.
The USCG has a current “travel projection” if Ocean Bound simply lost radio contact and continued her journey to San Diego at just North or South of Turtle Bay (Bahia Tortuga) on the Baja Peninsula and is focused on searching there, in addition to long aircraft sweeps along the Baja Peninsula.
The “drift projection”, if Ocean Bound became disabled, is focused by CMAR/SEMAR in a 100 mile area South to Southeast of Cabo San Lucas. This is around the waters near Puerto Vallarta.
These parameters are reassessed each night to redefine the search the next day.
We cannot express enough gratitude to the USCG, CMAR/SEMAR and the sailing community for their help the past 4 days and their continued S&R efforts going forward. They have communicated all of their efforts with kindness and compassion more than once a day. We truly appreciate everything you’ve done and continue to do. Thank you, you bring us hope and comfort in this painful time.
The social media posting efforts of our families is to reach as many people as possible across the globe. If anyone has seen, heard of Ocean Bound and her crew. Knows someone in the areas around the search perimeters. Please help us bring Kerry, Frank and Bill home.
45 FOOT S/V LA FITTE, BLACK HULL, THREE PERSON ON BOARD,
OVERDUE MAZATLAN, MX (23-10.58N 106-26.19W) TO CABO, MX (22-52.11N 109-54.95W) TO
SAN DIEGO, CA (32-39.83N 117-15.29W).
VESSELS IN VICINITY REQUESTED TO KEEP A SHARP
LOOKOUT, ASSIST IF POSSIBLE.
REPORTS TO RCC ALAMEDA,
PHONE: 510 437 3701,