The Latest: Pilot describes search for Chinese sailor

KAPOLEI, Hawaii (AP) " The Latest on the search for a missing Chinese mariner (all times local):

5 p.m.

One of the U.S. Coast Guard pilots who helped search waters off Hawaii for a Chinese man attempting to set a sailing record says rescuers had to contend with 4-to-6-foot waves and darkness.

Lt. Ben Powers was the air commander of the search for Guo Chuan, who was reported missing while trying to set a sailing record from San Francisco to Shanghai.

Powers said Thursday it was frustrating to not find Guo. Rescuers located his 97-foot trimaran about 620 miles northwest of Oahu. Powers says rescuers tried to radio Guo every 15 to 30 minutes. There was no response.

Crewmembers from a US Navy ship went aboard and only found Guo's life jacket.

The Coast Guard suspended the search Wednesday night.

Powers says it's difficult to search for someone in the open ocean, especially when there's low illumination, wind and waves.

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8:30 p.m.

The U.S. Coast Guard says it has suspended its search for a Chinese man attempting to set a sailing record after a crew did not find him aboard his boat off the Hawaii islands.

In a statement, the Coast Guard says a crew from the USS Makin Island went aboard Guo Chuan's trimaran about 620 miles northwest of Oahu and only found Guo's life jacket.

Guo, 50, was attempting to set a sailing record from San Francisco to Shanghai.

Capt. Robert Hendrickson, who directed the Coast Guard's search said: "Our deepest condolences go out not only to his family and friends but also to his racing team and the sailing community."

The Coast Guard says Guo's sailboat, the Quindao China, is adrift, and its main sail has been taken down. Guo's racing team plans to cover the sailboat.

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2:25 p.m.

The U.S Navy is sending a ship to see if a Chinese man attempting to set a sailing record from San Francisco to Shanghai is aboard his boat off Hawaii.

The U.S. Coast Guard began searching Tuesday for Guo Chuan after the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center China reported not hearing from him in 24 hours.

Coast Guard spokeswoman Tara Molle says a Coast Guard airplane and a Navy helicopter flying above the 97-foot trimaran have tried to contact him via radio, but he hasn't answered.

The USS Makin Island is heading to Guo's vessel to see if he's onboard.

Molle says Guo's racing vessel has an automatic identification system that showed it was 620 miles northwest of Oahu.

The 50-year-old sailor is trying to break a solo nonstop trans-Pacific world record.

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Man's last name is corrected in this item.

This item corrects that the Coast Guard aircraft is an airplane, not a helicopter.

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9:30 a.m.

The U.S. Coast Guard in Hawaii is searching for a Chinese man attempting to set a sailing record from San Francisco to Shanghai.

The Coast Guard located Guo Chuan's 97-foot trimaran Tuesday. Rescuers continue to search for the 50-year-old sailor, who is trying to set a solo sailing record.

The Maritime Rescue Coordination Center China contacted the Coast Guard in Honolulu on Tuesday after not hearing from Guo in 24 hours. Coast Guard spokeswoman Tara Molle says the China rescue coordination center had been in constant contact with Guo, who was not likely to miss scheduled calls.

Molle says Guo's racing vessel has an automatic identification system that showed it was 620 miles northwest of Oahu.

Molle says knowing that Guo is a healthy and experienced sailor gives rescuers hope.

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Man's last name is corrected in this item.

This item corrects the size of the vessel, Chuan's age and the day the vessel was found.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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