Coast Guard searches for man from unmanned sailboat

ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Coast Guard is searching for a man missing from an unmanned sailboat approximately 70 miles northwest of Point Conception.

The Coast Guard will have searched over 8,000 square miles by Friday morning. Coast Guard Air Station Sacramento has conducted two search patterns with the C-130 Hercules aircraft. Air Station Los Angeles has also conducted two search patterns with an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter. The Coast Guard Cutter Narwhal, homeported in Newport Beach Harbor, is currently searching in the vicinity of the unmanned sailboat.

Coast Guard Station Channel Islands received a call from the cruise ship Stantondam, at 11:15 a.m. Thursday concerning a damaged and unmanned 26-foot sailboat. The reported location of the sailing vessel was in the vicinity of an uncorrelated “Mayday” call received by the Coast Guard at approximately 3 a.m. The Coast Guard launched a C-130, from Air Station Sacramento, early this morning to investigate the “Mayday” call, but had negative results.

The 26-foot sailboat named Black Sheep is registered to a Felix Knauth. The Black Sheep reportedly left Monterey Bay Monday, May 10. The sailboat is white, with a light blue deck and is single masted. The sails were up but were torn.

Weather conditions in the search area are 10-foot seas with 20-knot winds.

If anyone knows anything concerning this search and rescue case please contact the Coast Guard’s rescue coordination center in Alameda at (510) 437-3701.

The Coast Guard encourages all boaters to be prepared for possible emergencies by:

  • Having an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon onboard with 406 MHz capabilities.
  • Register your EPIRB with NOAA according to the instructions provided with the beacon. Registration is mandatory, improves response, reduces false alarms, and can be completed online at
  • Ensure that your vessel is seaworthy.
  • File a float plan with a friend.

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