Mazatlan to Cabo San Lucas: Search for missing U.S. sailors aboard “Ocean Bound” Gulf of California

U.S. Coast Guard and Mexican Navy join forces to locate expert sailors Kerry O'Brien, Frank O'Brien, and William Gross aboard "Ocean Bound" after no contact since April 4.

Kerry O’Brien, Frank O’Brien, and William Gross, three U.S. sailors in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, on their way to San Diego, California, have not been heard from since April 4. They were sailing aboard the “Ocean Bound,” a 44-foot LaFitte sailboat, in which they were to arrive in Cabo San Lucas on April 6 to buy supplies, but they never arrived. The United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the Secretariat of the Mexican Navy (Semar) are looking for them.

Through a press release, the US Coast Guard announced that no coastal authority in Baja California has reported having seen the vessel, nor any of its three crew members. The worrying thing is that they were all expert navigators. They knew perfectly well to be at sea. “Urgent maritime information transmissions have been issued over VHF radio requesting all mariners to be on the lookout for the vessel and the missing persons,” the agency said.

It detailed that from Mazatlan to Cabo San Lucas, more than 200 miles (equivalent to 321.869 kilometers) must be navigated through the southern Gulf of California. The final destination of the three sailors was San Diego.

The sailboat was described as one of the best to sail. Photo: special.
The sailboat was described as one of the best to sail. Photo: special.

The sailboat the three Americans are traveling was designed by Robert H. Perry Yacht Designers and is equipped with a single mast and an auxiliary engine for navigation. According to specialized publications, it is a sizeable ocean-going sailboat that many sailors have used to sail around the world.

Information has circulated on social media that Kerry, Frank, and Bill are all experienced sailors. Bill has over 50 years of sailing experience and is a highly talented coastal cruiser. Kerry and Frank have been sailing together for 20 years and have captain’s licenses with the U.S. Coast Guard.

“The sailing community has hundreds of additional boats looking for our family members. Unfortunately they have not seen them or been in contact with them either,” wrote one Facebook user.