The Coast Guard on Tuesday suspended its search for four people, including two young children, who were believed to be missing after a distress call from what was said to be a sinking sailboat in the ocean south of San Francisco.
Officials are investigating the possibility that the incident was a hoax.
Searchers using aircraft and sea vessels found "no signs of distress, no signs of debris, no reports of missing people," Coast Guard spokesman Mike Lutz said.
The agency will continue to investigate the case, including whether the initial distress call was a hoax, Lutz said.
"We are looking for additional information," he said. "We handle every situation like it's a life-threatening situation unless we are 100% sure it's a hoax."
The alleged distress call from a 29-foot sailboat, possibly named Charmblow, was made about 4:20 p.m. Sunday, authorities said. The boat was said to be 65 miles off Pillar Point Harbor in Half Moon Bay.