Low Speed Chase Victims Mourned - NBC Bay Area

Low Speed Chase Victims Mourned

The search was called off after one person died and four others are still missing after a boat involved in a race around the Farallon Islands ran aground Saturday afternoon.



    Jean Elle talks to people who remember the victims of Sunday's crash. (Published Monday, April 16, 2012)

    Four people who went out for a sailing race around the Farallon Islands Saturday are still missing two days after their boat crashed into the island's rocks.

    The U.S. Coast Guard called off its search Sunday night saying they could not have survived that amount of time at sea.

    In all, 8 people were aboard a 38-foot sailboat named Low Speed Chase when it was hit by a big wave that knocked several crew members into the ocean. The boat was then hit by more waves that forced it to crash into the rocks during the rescue attempt of that group. It is presumed that in all five people will be lost in the accident.

    The Coast Guard and Air National Guard searched an area of more than 5,000 square miles over a period of more than 30 hours following the deadly boating accident Saturday afternoon, Petty Officer Caleb Critchfield said.

    One Dead, 4 Missing In Boat Accident Near Farallon Islands

    [BAY] One Dead, 4 Missing In Boat Accident Near Farallon Islands
    Coast Guard is looking for four people who were involved in boat accident that saw one person die. The accident happened during a yacht race near the Farallon Islands. NBC Bay Area's Monte Francis has the story.
    (Published Sunday, April 15, 2012)

    Members of the Rescue 129th and the Coast Guard were able to pluck three survivors from the chilly ocean waters 26 miles outside the Golden Gate. They also retrieved one body, but were unable to find four other people who apparently perished in the boating accident.

    The names of the missing are: 

    • Alexis Busch of Lakrspur
    • Jordan Fromm of Kentfield
    • Alan Cahill of Tiburon
    • Elmer Morrissey of Ireland

    Most were experienced sailors. Morrissey was not. He was a visiting scientist and went along for the ride.

    A fifth person, Marc Kasanin, 46 of Belvedere was pronounced dead after being pulled from the water Saturday afternoon. He was a local artist and had been a sailor on the San Francisco Bay all of his life, according to friends.

    The three survivors were identified as Nick Vos of Sonoma, Brian Chong of Tiburon and James Bradford, who was the captain of the boat. All three attended a vigil for the lost on Sunday night at the Belvedere Yacht Club which was home to the crew.

    Vos and the only woman on the boat, Alexis Busch, dated. Busch was a former bat girl for the San Francisco Giants. The team announced Monday it would hold a moment of silence prior to Monday night's game. During her tenure with the team, Busch was the person to first greet slugger Barry Bonds at home plate after he hit home run No. 500.

    In a statement issued Monday by America's Cup to the family and friends of the Low Speed Chase, representatives offered their "deepest condolences" to the family and crew who died this weekend. "As sailors, we are all one family, and our hearts are with those affected..."

    The group was participating in the 2012 Full Crew Farallones Race that began at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco. 

    A man who identified himself as Captain Joe took the photo to the left on Sunday. It shows the boat on the rocks of the island.

    It was not clear if it was seaworthy enough to be towed back to the Golden Gate.

    Below is an interview with the Coast Guard where they explain what they think happened Saturday.

    A century-old tradition, the Full Crew Farallones Race has never been for the faint of heart: Winds averaging 10 to 20 knots and churning 14-foot Pacific Ocean swells are among the rough conditions typically braved by yachts and their crews during the daylong regatta, a spring favorite of skilled sailors.
    But on Saturday, powerful waves and a disastrous series of events brought rare tragedy to the august race and the San Francisco Bay area's large sailing community.
    Two strong waves swept them from their boat near the rocky islands, the halfway point of the 54-mile race that began at daybreak in San Francisco and had 49 entrants.