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Memorial Flotilla On The Bay Honors Sailors Lost In Yacht Race Accident

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Fireboat Salute

A fireboat fired her water cannon as a salute to the sailors lost in a yachting accident near the Farallones. (CBS)

TIBURON (CBS SF) — Friends of the sailors lost and killed in a yachting race accident near the Farallon Islands held a memorial flotilla Saturday evening.

The Low Speed Chase Memorial Flotilla was organized by friends of the five sailors who were washed overboard by waves and killed on Saturday, April 14.

Boats congregated southeast of Elephant Rock in Tiburon, sailed south west toward the point of Belvedere, before returning to Tiburon. Participating boats lowered wreaths and flowers into the water and took part in a memorial service before returning to their harbors.

Boats from the U.S. Coast Guard and Tiburon Fire Department participated in the flotilla, according to organizers.

Captained by James Bradford, 41, of Chicago, the Low Speed Chase, a Sydney 38-foot yacht, was competing in the 2012 Full Crew Farallones Race Saturday when it met with large waves near one of the Farallon Islands around 3 p.m., according to Coast Guard Petty Officer Levi Read said.

The boat, which is based at the San Francisco Yacht Club, was tossed by the waves, sending multiple crewmembers into the water and the yacht into the rocks.

Bradford and two crew members – identified by yacht club officials as Tiburon resident Brian Chong and Nick Vos of Sonoma – were rescued by the Coast Guard and Air National Guard helicopters and boats Saturday.

One sailor, Belvedere resident Marc Kasanin, 46, was pulled out of the water by rescuers and confirmed dead Saturday, according to the yacht club. Four others– Alexis Busch of Larkspur, Alan Cahill of Tiburon, 25-year-old Kentfield resident Jordan Fromm and Elmer Morrisey, of Ireland, remain missing.

The Coast Guard called off the search for survivors Sunday night after searching more than 5,000 square miles of ocean.

More than 400 people attended a vigil that was held at the San Francisco Yacht Club last Sunday.

A memorial page for the Low Speed Chase has been established on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/sfyclowspeed.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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