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Coast Guard: Report Of Missing Boaters A Possible Hoax

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Coast Guard crew members aboard a HH-65C Dolphin helicopter. (U.S. Coast Guard via Getty Images)

Coast Guard crew members aboard a HH-65C Dolphin helicopter. (U.S. Coast Guard via Getty Images)

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MONTEREY (CBS SF) — The U.S. Coast Guard has called off its search for a man, woman and two children who reportedly abandoned ship off the coast of Monterey County on Sunday afternoon and said the report may have been a hoax.

The search was suspended about 9:40 a.m. Tuesday.

Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Mike Lutz said Tuesday morning crews found no debris and no physical signs of distress after searching for nearly 48 hours.

Coast Guard boats and aircraft had been scouring the waters about 65 miles off the Monterey coast since about 4:20 p.m. Sunday, when the family made a distress call to Coast Guard Sector San Francisco.

The caller said he was on a boat, possibly named “Charmblow,” with his wife, their 4-year-old son and the boy’s young cousin.

The man told the Coast Guard that the vessel’s electronics system was failing, and then said over a choppy radio connection that the family had decided to abandon ship, according to the Coast Guard.

Lutz said it is not clear how many life rafts the family had with them, but that there was no life raft. In the last dispatch from the boat at about 5:30 p.m. Sunday, the man said the family was trying to string together a cooler and a life ring to cling to.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Barry Bena said there have been no missing-persons reports that would help identify the family.

Lutz said the Coast Guard has checked local marinas for information about a boat named “Charmblow” or something similar, to no avail.

(Copyright 2013 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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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