Boaters still missing after 7-hour shoreline search
The search for two people who went missing following a boating accident Friday evening near Tomales Bay that left two others dead was suspended today, a National Park Service spokeswoman said.
The Marin County coroner’s office today identified the two people found dead Saturday as 61-year-old Diane Kelly of Windsor and 59-year-old Richard Hargreaves Jr. of Santa Rosa.
Roughly 25 people from the Marin County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue team and the Marin County Fire Department water rescue team, along with NPS rangers, started searching the coastline by foot around 8:30 a.m. today, NPS spokeswoman Melanie Gunn said.
Gunn said the team walked along a 22-mile swath of the Point Reyes National Seashore coastline from Tomales Point to the Point Reyes Lighthouse trying to find any indication of the two missing boaters.
In areas where the beach was difficult to access by foot, crews searched the shoreline by boat, Gunn said.
After more than seven hours of searching, Gunn said the crews found no sign of the missing mariners. The team called off the search around 4 p.m., she said.
Depending on weather conditions, Gunn said there might be an opportunity for an air search next week.
Kelly and Hargreaves set out with two other people around 5 a.m. Friday from Bodega Bay in Sonoma County for an all-day fishing trip, according to Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Amanda Faulkner.
When they didn’t return that evening around 5 p.m., the sister and girlfriend of the boat’s owner called the U.S. Coast Guard to report them missing, Faulkner said.
The girlfriend told authorities the boat’s owner was an experienced mariner, Faulkner said.
Around 10:15 a.m. Saturday, the Sonoma County sheriff’s helicopter crew found the 21-foot pleasure craft overturned in the rocks near Tomales Point in Marin County, according to sheriff’s officials.
Faulkner said emergency crews found one person dead on the shoreline at Bird Rock and found another person dead in a debris field off of Tomales Point. Emergency crews also found an engine in the debris field that authorities believe is from the missing boat, Faulkner said.
Faulkner said Coast Guard crews did not receive a distress signal from the vessel and said it’s unclear what happened to the boat.
She said NPS would conduct an investigation into the incident and stressed the importance of all boaters having a plan before setting out, checking the weather and always bringing life jackets for everyone aboard.