Recovery effort for fishermen called off

Recovery efforts for two fishermen lost at sea off the San Mateo County coast since Tuesday afternoon stopped Thursday after crews recovered pieces of the missing boat and its emergency radio, Pillar Point Harbormaster Dan Temko said.

U.S. Coast Guard helicopters scanning waters for sight of the vessel and the two men spotted possible wreckage Wednesday and asked the Pillar Point Harbor Patrol to retrieve the materials, Temko said.

The pieces of ship, found about 5 miles off the San Gregorio shore and about 12 miles south of the Pillar Point Harbor, appeared to be from the missing boat, called “Good Guys,” Temko said.

The materials have been taken to a Coast Guard investigator to determine if the wreckage is from the missing boat, but the testing will take several weeks, Coast Guard Lt. Anya Hunter said.

Fishermen Ben Hannaberg, 59, the owner of the boat, and Jim Davis, 57, both from San Leandro, have not been found, Temko said.

Hannaberg and Davis left to empty crab traps at about 9 a.m. Tuesday from Pillar Point, where the Good Guys boat was kept, according to officials.

The Good Guys boat was not the kind of vessel typically used for commercial crab fishing, Temko said. Typically, a boat of that size is usually used for sport fishing, he said.

Hannaberg and Davis did not appear to be full-time fishermen, Temko said, but family and friends have described the men as experienced fishermen, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.

An extensive air, water and land search launched Tuesday for the Good Guys boat covered 500 square miles.

Coast Guard officials estimated the survival time for the men as about eight hours considering air and water temperatures and sea conditions.

The active search for Davis and Hannaberg stopped at 10 p.m. Tuesday, Hunter said. Recovery efforts were resumed the following morning but have since ended, she said.

Bay City News

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