CGNewsTip: Coast Guard Stumped – Will Call Off Search

Microsoft engineer’s boat still missing; Coast Guard to call off search

The U.S. Coast Guard said today it was stumped over what happened to missing Microsoft engineer Jim Gray and will call off its search for Gray and his yacht early Thursday morning unless further clues to his whereabouts surface before then.

“ We are somewhat stumped,` said David Swatland, the Coast Guard’s commander of the search. `It’s been frustrating, to tell you the truth.” Swatland and another Coast Guard officer said the lack of any debris or the vessel itself is very puzzling since they have searched the entire area, where computer models would show a boat of that size could have traveled given the wind and current conditions. If the boat had sunk, pieces of it should have risen to the surfaceby now, they said.

Swatland said pending no other sightings or significant information he would call off the search early Thursday morning, citing limited resources and the fact that an exhaustive 100-hour search with 75 Coast Guard personnel has turned up nothing. They’ve also searched 450 miles of coastline. “It’s really a tough decision to call these off,”Swatland said. The Coast Guard, he added, would still follow up all lead and will be monitoring for emergency signals. U.S. Fish and Wildlife researchers reported a boat looking similiar to Gray’s sailing near the Farallon Islands early Sunday evening. Also, with the help of Microsoft engineers and Cingular Wireless, they have determined that the last evidence that Gray’s PDA was operating was 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Coast Guard officials have no reason to believe Gray disappeared intentionally, but their models are designed only to search for people who want to be found.

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