The terrifying story of a family of four missing in rough seas off the coast of California might be nothing more than a sick hoax. Evidence now indicates that the family missing at sea never existed in the first place. As a result, the Coast Guard has called off its search-and-rescue efforts.
All of this began on Sunday (Feb. 24) afternoon, when the Coast Guard received a series of distress calls. Although the boat was reported to not have a functional GPS system and the male voice on the radio never gave a location, authorities determined that the boat’s signal was coming from an area of ocean about 60 miles west of Monterey Bay, California.
By the final call for help, all four members of the 29-foot sailboat, possibly called the “Charmblow,” planned to abandon ship. They mentioned using a life-preserver ring and a cooler as a makeshift raft. While rough seas and low water temperatures created conditions difficult to survive, the Coast Guard carried out a thorough search of the area through Monday.
They found nothing.
Even more suspicious than a lack of wreckage is the fact that no one has reported the family missing. The radio calls indicated that the boat carried a husband and wife, their 4-year-old son and the boy’s young cousin. Despite the Coast Guard releasing a recording of one distress call, no one has come forward to identify the missing people.
Now, authorities have called off all searches and are treating the incident as a hoax. The Christian Science Monitor quoted Coast Guard Executive Officer Noah Hudson’s explanation for the move: “It’s unfortunate that we were forced to use so many resources for so much time.”