A 38-foot yacht that was involved in a deadly crash earlier this month was recovered from the Farallon Islands today.
The yacht, Low Speed Chase, was hit by large waves and crashed into rocks during the Full Crew Farallones Race on April 14.
One sailor, Marc Kasanin, 46, of Belvedere, was pulled out of the water by rescuers and pronounced dead at the scene. Four others -- Alexis Busch, of Larkspur; Alan Cahill, of Tiburon; Jordan Fromm, 25, of Kentfield; and Elmer Morrissey, of Ireland -- are still missing and presumed dead.
Crews set out for the Farallon Islands to recover the wreckage at around 3:30 p.m. today, U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokesman Doug Cordell said.
Ballard Diving and Salvage crew members flew to the island in an Aris helicopter, prepared the wreckage and hoisted the roughly 15,000-pound vessel to Half Moon Bay by around 7 p.m., Cordell said.
"The operation went fairly smoothly and quickly," Cordell said.
Cordell added that in order to recover the yacht, salvage crews had to negotiate a number of obstacles, including rocky terrain, inclement weather, and a fragile ecosystem.
The Farallon Islands are host to a wide variety of wildlife, including the largest nesting seabird colony south of Alaska, Cordell said.
Those birds are expected to begin laying eggs as soon as next week, which meant the salvage crew had a limited opportunity to access the wreckage, he said.
"If we didn't do it within the next several days, we would have had to wait until probably October," Cordell said.
Cordell said today's recovery was successful with minimal impact to the islands' wildlife.