Family Lost at Sea Sent Chilling Message Before Building a Makeshift Life Boat (VIDEO)

family lost at seaA family of four, including a 4-year-old child, is missing off the coast of Monterey, California after taking their sailboat named Charm Blow out for a day trip. A chilling distress call says the family was "abandoning ship," but the Coast Guard has had no luck finding the family. All the electronics (including the GPS) on board the ship apparently failed.

The family had told the Coast Guard they were going to build a life raft out of a cooler and a life preserver. The Coast Guard searched for them through the night, and several other vessels and aircraft have joined to help, but all to no avail.

This story is a parent's absolute worst nightmare. To be bobbing out at sea with a small child who either can't swim or is a new swimmer, with nothing but a cooler to hold on to? I can't even imagine. I hate to criticize them, but the fact is, a warning had been issued for strong winds and rough seas in the area over the weekend. Small crafts were warned to stay out. Hear the call below:

I don't know much about sailing, but I have to imagine that people in small crafts need to be mindful of warnings, especially people with small children. As the mother of a 4-year-old myself, I can't even imagine being with him, alone in the water, in rough seas. It's beyond comprehension.

More from The Stir: 'Ghost Cruise Ship' Suddenly Appears in the Middle of the Ocean

But there are other strange parts to this story, too. They had a cousin with them, but no indication of who this cousin is or even who the family is yet. There have been no missing persons reports filed and no luck identifying anyone who knows anything about them.

Is it possible it's a hoax? As of now, the Coast Guard is obviously taking it very, very seriously. As they should be. It's unimaginable. And not knowing a thing about sailing, it's hard to even judge whether this family did something irresponsible or not.

Are there warnings like this all the time? Is the mother (or the father) an incredibly experienced sailor who goes out every weekend? Knowing some of these answers might create a clearer picture of why someone would take their own preschooler and a young child who didn't belong to them at all out for a pleasure cruise on high seas.

As of now, the number one priority should obviously be getting everyone back, safe and sound. It may be a pipe dream, but it's possible. Let's hope that this story has a happy ending and some of these questions are answered.

Is 4 years old too young to be on a sailboat in open water?


weather, cruise

24 Comments

To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

stace... stacey541

I don't see any problem with a child of any age being on a sailboat in the ocean....I see all the problems with ignoring the small craft advisory and going out anyway....

tecsa... tecsabates

I agree with Stacey. They should have heeded the warnings.

Dorothy Gilmore Griffin

I think a child 4 years old is too young to be taken out to sea and especially if they knew about the warning of bad weather.

Missy Papst Czarina

Truth is we don't know what they knew and when. We can jump to conclusions and point fingers if that makes us feel better. Like we would never let anything like this happen. We don't know all the details and intitial reports often have incorrect info. If their equipement was not working they may not of gotten the warning to begin with. Why don't we pray for them or at least direct our energies to helping them be found by sharing the story.

Patti Yates

What sounds fishy to me is the fact that they were 65 miles of the coast, nobody goes that far out for a day trip. I grew up on the water and usually day trips are in and around the bay and you wouldn't go out with small craft advisories posed, this doesn't sound right.

work4... work4mickey

Even on a small boat, why wasn't there a life raft? They had to fasion one out of a cooler and life vest? As Missy Pabst said we really don't know all the details, but the ones we do are odd.

nonmember avatar Red

The fact that they were out without sufficient LIFE JACKETS then to have two of the occupants be children is such a dereliction of your duty as a parent/captain/boat owner, I can't even fathom. I have to have life preservers in my canoe when I am on the lake, very captain KNOWS this!

nonmember avatar gordon

I have to ask myself, Why did they not have a life raft that they had to improvise one? Why did they not have an automatically activated emergency locating device( activates when it is submerged in water),and is this for real? Unfortunately this is how some people start their "New life," by faking their deaths. Odds are it is for real and most definitely should be treated as a missing at sea scenario, but after the search is called off and no bodies are found you have to wonder! As a former law enforcement officer I always try to keep all options open.

Ashley Nicole Harris

My husband is in the USCG and they have been having many prank calls coming in like this. I'm not saying the CG is saying this case is a false alarm but I'm starting to think it is. :-/

Elizabeth James

Having cruised and lived aboard with my family on open water for 13 years (since my youngest was 3 yrs old) I can say this is a wonderful way of life and activity. My kids refer to this as the best times in their lives. Having said that we would never, never, never leave dock (even for near coast) trips without life preserves, life boats, emergency beacons that when deployed send a distress and locator beacon (costs about $200). And when going off shore like they were, we always had a ship to shore satellite phone. Expensive? No, only when you turn it on and send / receive. Finally our skipper (husband) would never have taken us out in this kind of weather when it was forecast. Sometimes you are out there and the weather comes up, it just happens... but that is what preparation is about. I hope this is a prank.

1-10 of 24 comments 123 Last