Pictures by Yo! Venice! friend Matt Fisher
A search involving air and sea rescue teams was underway off the Los Angeles County coastline for a possible missing man after a 26-foot sailboat washed ashore Sunday afternoon with no one on board.
The boat’s skipper, Tom Kirschbaum, 55, of Los Angeles, was participating in a race between Catalina Island and Marina del Rey, said county fire Inspector Matt Levesque. Kirschbaum left the island about 9:30 Sunday morning.
Kirschbaum’s wife, Gayle, said her husband, a partner at the Irell & Manella law firm, had completed the race to Catalina and was returning to Marina del Rey on Sunday.
She said he was an experienced solo sailor and had participated in the Transpac open-ocean race to Hawaii. “He was very sensible,” she said. “If it was too rough, he wouldn’t go.”
“If he wasn’t feeling well or anything, he would have stayed in Catalina.”
She said he e-mailed before he left Sunday from Emerald Bay near the Two Harbors area of Catalina and everything appeared fine. She said she understood a GPS device found on board showed the boat had sailed a straight course from Catalina toward the Palos Verdes Peninsula area before turning north.]
The boat ran aground in Venice near the Navy Street lifeguard tower about 3:30 p.m.