Sailors Killed and Missing off the California Coast

Carolyn Jones of the San Francisco Chronicle has filed this report on a deadly accident that occurred in the Full Crew Farallones Race this weekend:

“The Bay Area’s tightly knit sailing community was reeling Sunday after one of the region’s most catastrophic boating disasters in decades – the wreck of a racing yacht near the Farallon Islands that killed one sailor and left four missing.

The wreck happened Saturday when 12-foot waves pummeled the sailboat during the Full Crew Farallones Race and hurled it onto rocks at the Farallon Islands, pitching most of the crew overboard. Three sailors were rescued from the scene, but one, Marc Kasanin, 46, of Belvedere died in the water and four more disappeared in the waves.

Coast Guard and National Guard rescuers were still scouring the choppy waters 27 miles west of the Golden Gate for the missing sailors Sunday evening, while hundreds of mourners filed into the San Francisco Yacht Club in Belvedere, which managed the race and was the home club of the ill-fated vessel.

Members, many weeping, placed white roses and votive candles at the elite club’s entrance and barred the public from the grieving inside. One friend of several members of the wrecked boat’s crew, Brian Swift of Tiburon, said the families of the missing and the dead were in “utter shock” and thanking club members for their support.

“It’s a tragedy of unbelievable proportions,” said club director Ed Lynch. “It doesn’t affect just this club, it affects sailors all over the world. It’s going to hit us hard for a long, long time.

“We’re all deeply saddened,” he said.”

Click here for the complete story.

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