Family of missing American sailor thanks the USCG and Mexican Navy for ‘exhaustive’ effort


The children of one of the missing American sailors who disappeared near Mexico thanked the U.S. Coast Guard and Mexican Navy for their efforts after authorities suspended the search.

“Knowing that our family members have been part of a multinational search is not something we take for granted. It shows the kind of commitment and cooperation we all will praise in the years to come,” Melissa Spiccuza, daughter of Bill Gross, said in a statement. “Thank you to all who serve their countries at sea, onshore and abroad.

“To the community of sailors of all vessels who’ve searched, reported, reached out, shared, and posted to aid in the search of Ocean Bound, Kerry, Frank, and William we know your search will not end,” she added. “Those of us with saltwater in our veins will never stop hearing the call to keep a sharp lookout.”

Gross set sail with Kerry and Frank O’Brien on their vessel Ocean Bound, last making contact with anyone on April 4 when they were near Mazatlán, Mexico, the Coast Guard said over the weekend.

Mexico Coast Guard navy
Kerry and Frank O’Brien, two of the missing people aboard the vessel Ocean Bound that was last contacted April 4 as it passed Mazatlán.

The three Americans were aboard the 44-foot La Fitte sailing vessel called Ocean Bound, which set off for San Diego but failed to make contact April 6 when it was supposed to stop in Cabo San Lucas.

Ellen Argall, the mother of Pennsylvania native Kerry O’Brien, said her daughter has had a love of the water her entire life and told a local CBS News outlet she is confident her daughter is safe.

“I just keep hoping and praying that I’ll hear some good news. I want good news, not bad news,” she said, adding that waiting for news has been “pure agony.”

Boat that went missing
The 44-foot Le Fitte vessel Ocean Bound, went missing on April 4.

The Mexican Navy expanded its search effort for the three American sailors, sending out four patrol boats and a twin-engine prop airplane to search the area. Ultimately, the Coast Guard suspended the search after “exhaustive” efforts covering an area larger than the state of California.

“The U.S. Coast Guard has been informed that the Mexican navy (SEMAR) has suspended their search for three American mariners aboard the sailing vessel Ocean Bound,” the Coast Guard said in a statement Wednesday.

Cmdr. Gregory Higgins, the command center chief of Coast Guard District 11, said, “Our deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of William Gross, Kerry O’Brien, and Frank O’Brien.”


The Mazatlan Post