“Unfortunately, we found no evidence of the three Americans’ whereabouts or what might have happened,” said U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Gregory Higgins
The search for three Americans who went missing at sea after setting sail from Mexico en route to San Diego over two weeks ago has been suspended.
Frank O’Brien and Kerry O’Brien — who are husband and wife — as well as their friend, William Gross, left Mazatlán, Mexico, on April 4, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. They have not been heard from since.
The U.S. Coast Guard announced on Wednesday that the Mexican Navy had suspended their search.
“An exhaustive search was conducted by our international search and rescue partner, Mexico, with the U.S. Coast Guard and Canada providing additional search assets,” Coast Guard Cmdr. Gregory Higgins said in a statement.
As part of their efforts, the Coast Guard spent 281 cumulative hours searching, covering about 200,057 square miles, which is larger than the state of California, per the statement. Still, responders found “no sign of the missing sailing vessel nor its passengers.”
“Unfortunately, we found no evidence of the three Americans’ whereabouts or what might have happened,” Cmdr. Higgins said. “Our deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of William Gross, Kerry O’Brien and Frank O’Brien.”
On April 4, the same day they set sail, the group made calls about a planned stop in Cabo San Lucas for supplies two days later, according to CBS News. However, their 44-foot sailing vessel never arrived.
“Search and rescue coordinators contacted marinas throughout Baja, Mexico, which resulted in no sightings of the vessel,” the Coast Guard said. “Urgent marine information broadcasts were also issued over VHF radio, but yielded no additional information.”
Higgins told CNN that when the group set sail, “conditions were not optimal for that type of trip” with winds “potentially over 30 knots.”
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Gross’ daughter Melissa Spicuzza previously told NBC San Diego that the O’Brien family invited her father to join them at sea, and that all three sailors had decades of experience.
Frank and Kerry, who are licensed boat captains, asked Gross — who has been sailing for five decades — to join them on the trip, her mom, Ellen Argall told CBS News earlier this week while the search was still ongoing.
“If anybody can survive this, they can,” Argall told the outlet.
“Our hope is for our Dad, and Kerry and Frank to be sailing into port soon, tired and sore, but safe,” Gross’ three children said in a statement on Tuesday, reported NBC News.
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