On Sunday, January 28, 2007, during a short solo sailing trip to the Farallon Islands near San Francisco to scatter his mother's ashes, Jim Gray and his 40-foot yacht, Tenacious, were reported missing by his wife, Donna Carnes. The Coast Guard searched for four days using a C-130 plane, helicopters, and patrol boats but found no sign of the vessel. Gray's boat was equipped with an automatically deployable EPIRB ( Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon ), which should have deployed and begun transmitting the instant his vessel sank. The weather was clear that day and no ships reported striking his boat, nor were any distress radio transmissions reported. On February 1, 2007, the DigitalGlobe satellite did a scan of the area, generating thousands of images. The images were posted to Amazon Mechanical Turk in order to distribute the work of searching through them, in hopes of spotting his boat. In the immediate aftermath of the disappearance, many theories were put forward on how Gray disappeared. On February 16, 2007, the family and Friends of Jim Gray Group suspended their search, but continue to follow any important leads. The family ended its underwater search May 31, 2007. Despite much effort and use of high-tech equipment above and below water, searches did not reveal any new clues.
DigitalGlobe Satellite Images