4 Missing, 1 Dead in Yacht Race off San Francisco
A Coast Guard rescue helicopter hoists two survivors from one of the Farrallon Islands 45 miles west of the San Francisco Bay, Saturday, April 14, 2012. (U.S. Coast Guard)
The Coast Guard and Air National Guard crews spent two days searching for the four before announcing the suspension Sunday night.
"The decision to suspend a search and rescue case like this is never an easy one to make," said Captain Cynthia Stowe. "The Coast Guard extends our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the lost crewmen and the deceased. They will all be in our thoughts and prayers."
At least one person died and three were rescued from the Low Speed Chase after it grounded near the Farallon Islands. But the remaining four people aboard remained unaccounted for.
The 38-foot sailboat was taking part in a race around the Farallon Islands, 28 miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge. The vessel's skipper reported that the yacht was hit by a series of large waves that rolled it over, tossing several crew members overboard and running it aground, the Coast Guard said Sunday.
The search effort included three helicopters, a C-130 transport and four Coast Guard vessels, including the cutters Aspen, Pike and Sockeye.
The yacht was taking part in the Full Crew Farallon Race, a contest that dates to 1907, according to the San Francisco Yacht Club.
Late last month, the Coast Guard rescued racers taking part in an around-the-world contest when a giant wave damaged their yacht off the coast of San Francisco. The Geraldton Western Australia was on the sixth leg of an eight-leg, 11-month race when it was struck March 31.