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One dead, four missing after California yacht race accident

This image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows one of three crew members from the yacht Low Speed Chase being rescued from the Farallon Islands west of San Francisco, Saturday.
This image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows one of three crew members from the yacht Low Speed Chase being rescued from the Farallon Islands west of San Francisco, Saturday.AP

One person is dead and four are still missing after a boat involved in a race around the Farallon Islands, off the coast near San Francisco Bay, ran aground Saturday afternoon.

Eight people, on a 38-foot sailing vessel called the Low Speed Chase, were participating in the 2012 Full Crew Farallones Race that began at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, NBC Bay Area reported.

The accident was reported around 3 p.m., according to U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Levi Read.

A helicopter from Air Station San Francisco, an 87-foot cutter and a 47-foot boat from Station Golden Gate went to the scene. They were aided by two Blackhawk helicopters from the 129th Air National Guard unit at Moffett Field.

NBC Bay Area report in full here

Three people were rescued, Read said. One person pulled from the water was pronounced dead.

The Mercury News website carried a Coast Guard video showing some of the rescue.

More than 60 boats had signed up for the annual yacht race, according to the Yacht Racing Association of San Francisco Bay's website.

All other boats returned safely, according to Gerry Brown, chairman of the board.

Conditions on the water were "normal," with 10 foot waves and 25 knot waves, he noted.

Brown and other members of the association, and of the San Francisco Yacht Club, where the Low Speed Chase is based, waited anxiously Saturday night for further word on the missing crew members.

The Low Speed Chase was skippered by James Bradford, according to a list of race participants on the association web site.

A statement on the sitesaid: "The Yacht Racing Association of San Francisco Bay, The Ocean Yacht Racing Association, and the Board of Directors would like to express our deepest sympathies at this time of sorrow to the family and friends of the lost crewman of 'Low Speed Chase'. We offer our thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of the missing crew in hopes they are returned home safely."

NBC Bay Area contributed to this report.

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