U.S. Coast Guard aircraft left this morning to travel to 50 miles off Half Moon Bay where a fisherman reported seeing a yacht that is carrying two children taken from their mother's home Tuesday, according to the South San Francisco Police Department.
Christopher Maffei, 43, the father of the two children, is suspected to have snatched them from South San Francisco. Police believe he stole a yacht at Ballena Isle Marina in Alameda and headed out to sea.
A commercial fisherman reported at 4 a.m. Friday morning that he saw a boat that matched the Coast Guard's description of the vessel. The fisherman had heard a public notice about the yacht on the boating emergency radio channel 16.
The fisherman reported seeing a small child on the vessel. He did not report any signs of distress, and left the vessel before contacting authorities.
According to SSF Police Seargent Bruce McPhillips, there have been no witness reports of the yacht being under sail, and is likely either under power or adrift. McPhillips had no knowledge of Maffei's experience as a sailor, or how much fuel was aboard the vessel.
The vessel's name is "Unleashed" and "San Francisco, CA" is painted on the stern.
"Based on how recent the sighting was, there's a good chance it will come to resolution," McPhillips said.
See the attached PDF for more information on the case, as well as photographs of the children.
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