Two Killed, Four Missing After Sailing Regatta Hit by Storm in Alabama

Monday Update: U.S. Coast Guard officials have confirmed that two people were killed and the search continues for four people missing after after a strong squall hit a sailing regatta in Mobile Bay Saturday. Two bodies were recovered over the weekend. The Coast Guard said that a fifth person believed to be missing was found safe in his home.

The Coast Guard is expected to provide another update Monday.

Previous: A multi-agency search is underway and will continue through the night for at least five missing boaters after a strong storm system passed the Mobile Bay, Alabama area Saturday afternoon.

The Coast Guard received reports Saturday at approximately 4:30 p.m. that a sailing regatta had been hit by a strong line of thunderstorms that passed through the area, with multiple reports of missing persons, capsized vessels and persons in the water.

By Saturday night, more than 40 people were rescued by a combined effort of multiple agencies and good Samaritans.

Local media reports that the bodies of two people have been recovered.

A strong line of thunderstorms pushed eastward across the Mobile Bay area Saturday at approximately 3:30 p.m., resulting in winds in excess of 70 miles per hour. Mariners in the area were caught off guard, including a regatta sailing event taking place in the Dauphin Island area.

The agencies continued to search on Sunday for at least five people still believed to be missing. An update Sunday from the Coast Guard said that the search would continue overnight Sunday.

“In a combined effort, multi-agency responders have covered more than 2,500 square miles searching for survivors and we will continue to do so tonight,” said Capt. Duke Walker, Commander, Coast Guard Sector Mobile. “We are very grateful for the continued assistance of state, local agencies and Good Samaritans who helped individuals in distress. Because of these combined efforts, over 40 people were rescued throughout this case.“

As of Sunday afternoon, the search included:

  • An HC-144 Ocean Sentry crew.
  • An HH-60 Jayhawk crew from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile
  • An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans
  • Three 45-foot response boat-medium crews from Coast guard Station Dauphin Island.
  • A 29-foot response boat-small crew from Coast Guard Station Dauphin Island
  • Two 87-foot Coast Guard patrol boat crews – the Coast Guard cutter Stingray and Cobia.
  • Three Coast Guard 26-foot TANB aids to navigation boat crews
  • Three Alabama Marine Resources boat crews.
  • Four Alabama Marine Patrol boat crews.
  • Four Mobile County Sheriff’s Department flotilla crews.
  • One Coast Guard Auxiliary fixed wing aircraft crew.