MONTEREY -- As the Coast Guard search for a husband, wife and two young children continued Monday off the Central Coast, authorities released an audio clip they hope will help locate the family.

"Coast Guard, Coast Guard. We are abandoning ship. This is Charmblow, we are abandoning ship," says a man's voice on the call.

But officials aren't sure who is speaking or whether they've got the right name of the 29-foot boat the family said was sinking. The four were planning to fashion a makeshift raft from a cooler and a life ring.

"We ask that anyone who recognizes that voice or who knows of someone who went out on a 29-foot vessel to please call us," said Chief Petty Officer Mike Lutz of the Coast Guard.

"It would be a good start."

So far the search that has grown to include Coast Guard boats, helicopters, planes and a the California Air National Guard has come up with nothing. Lutz said he'd heard no plans of calling off the hunt in the waters about 65 miles off the Monterey Bay. Authorities initially said the boat was missing in San Mateo County, but revised that after getting more precise information.

Officials from the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor and Moss Landing harbor said Monday morning that they did not think the missing boat left from their harbors.


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The family members said in a series of broken distress calls, which started around 4:20 p.m. Sunday that the boat was sinking. But because the boat didn't have a working GPS systems searchers used coordinates provided the family which were about three hours old to help locate it. The Coast Guard as calculated the boats location based on the radio tower that received its radio transmissions.

The National Weather Service had issued an advisory throughout the weekend warning boaters of strong winds and rough seas around the San Francisco Bay Area. Water temperatures in the area are typically in the 40s and 50s, making long-term survival difficult.

Mariners "operating smaller vessels should avoid navigating in these conditions," the advisory said.

The agency has not identified the family, although investigators were able to determine from the distress calls that they were a husband and wife, their 4-year-old son and his cousin, Lt. Heather Lampert said. The Coast Guard has received no missing persons' reports.

The boaters said their 29-foot sailboat was taking on water and their electronics were failing.

An hour later, the family members reported they were forced to abandon the boat and were trying to fashion a makeshift life raft, Lampert said. The Coast Guard then lost radio contact.

Calls to harbors in California have failed to locate the boat, and database searches have come up empty too, Lampert said. The Coast Guard was expanding to Hawaii, the Seattle area and north into Canada.

The Associated Press and Cathy Kelly of the Santa Cruz Sentinel contributed to this report.

Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335. Follow him at Twitter.com/melvinreport.