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Coast Guard Searches For Missing Boat Carrying 4 People

— A single unconfirmed report of a possibly sinking pleasure craft in the ocean off Point Loma prompted the U.S. Coast Guard today to conduct a roughly five-hour search that turned up no vessels or boaters in distress.

The federal maritime agency launched a helicopter at daybreak to resume a search-and-rescue effort that began Wednesday evening, after personnel with a vessel salvage company overheard an apparent distress call on their marine radio, USCG spokeswoman Jetta Disco said.

The transmission indicated that an adult and three children were aboard a 20-foot vessel that was taking on water about a mile north of the point, according to Disco.

The Coast Guard sent out a helicopter and two boats about 5:30 p.m. to scan the ocean and shoreline in the area amid 30-knot winds, six-foot seas and roughly 10-mile visibility.

Two San Diego lifeguard watercraft and a land vehicle aided in the effort, during which the USCG Joint Harbor Operations Center issued an urgent broadcast asking mariners to call in and lend assistance if encountering the swamped vessel.

The initial search lasted about three hours before being called off for the night.

Following this morning's effort, the operation was suspended pending any further distress calls.

All told, the search covered an area of roughly 275 nautical miles, Disco said.

Coast Guard officials asked anyone who may have heard the mayday transmission or has knowledge of an overdue vessel to contact the JHOC at (619) 278-7031.

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