Missing San Francisco Boater Found Off Coast of Mexico

Photo: Sean Haggerty
Sean Haggerty

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A man who was missing for four days after departing the Berkeley Marina on a sailboat was found on Sunday night.

Sean Haggerty, 39, of San Francisco, was found at about 7 p.m. along the Mexican coast about 46 miles away from San Diego, according to U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Kevin Neff.

Haggerty, who was due to arrive in San Diego on Saturday, was traveling on a 26-foot sailboat that he purchased in Berkeley, Neff said. He had plans to move there for a new job.

Haggerty's father reported him missing at about 4:15 p.m. Saturday after family members realized he had not arrived, Neff said.

"His engine wasn't working, his GPS wasn't working, he had limited nautical charts and limited experience," he said.

According to Neff, the first searches were launched Saturday evening.

"We launched a helicopter from San Diego around 5:30 ( p.m.)," he said.

Two C-130 aircraft from Sacramento and helicopters from San Diego and Los Angeles were sent out on the search at different times Sunday, according to Neff.

The search team included more than 35 people over two days.

An aircraft spotted a vessel with one person on board that fit the description of the missing sailboat, Neff said.

By dropping a radio onto the sailboat, the aircraft's crew were able to communicate with the person aboard and identify Haggerty.

Boats were sent out to ensure that Haggerty was in good condition upon being found.

"We didn't actually launch a boat until we knew where he was," he said. "Once the plane saw him we sent the (rescue boat)."

Haggerty was not suffering from any injuries, Neff said.


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