A family who radioed for help from their sinking boat have abandoned ship. As night falls, the Coast Guard has announced plans to expand their search.
Petty Officer 1st Class Sara Francis / US Coast Guard / AP / File
Crews planned to search by sea and air through the night Monday as they ramped up efforts to find a husband, wife and two young children who sent a series of distress calls saying their sailboat was sinking far off the Central California coast and they were fashioning a raft from a cooler and a life ring.
The unidentified family had been sailing a small vessel Sunday west of Monterey Bay, where strong winds, cold water and big swells made for perilous conditions. Forecasters had issued a weekend advisory warning boaters of rough seas in the area.
The group — which included two children under 8 — made its first distress call late Sunday afternoon, Coast Guard Lt. Heather Lampert said. Investigators used the boat's radio signal and radar to determine the call came from an area about 60 miles west of Monterey.
The boaters reported that their 29-foot sailboat was taking on water and the electronics were failing.