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Sighting Reported of Yacht With Kidnapped Children

A commercial fisherman reported seeing a yacht that fit the description. Coast Guard was on its way this morning to the reported area.

According to the South San Francisco Police Department, U.S. Coast Guard aircraft left this morning to travel to 50 miles off Pillar Point, where a witness reported to have seen the yacht that is carrying two children abducted Tuesday.

Christopher Maffei, 43, the father of the two children is suspected to have taken them from South San Francisco and left in a white Ford Fusion before fleeing on a stolen yacht at Ballena Isle Marina in Alameda.

A commercial fisherman reported at 4 a.m. Friday that he saw a boat that matched the Coast Guard's description of the vessel. The fisherman had heard a public notice about the yacht on the boating emergency radio channel 16.

The fisherman reported seeing a small child on the vessel. He did not report any signs of distress, and left the vessel before contacting authorities.

According to SSF Police Sgt. Bruce McPhillips, there have been no witness reports of the yacht being under sail, and is likely either under power or adrift. McPhillips had no knowledge of Maffei's experience as a sailor, his motives or how much fuel was aboard the vessel.

The vessel's name is "Unleashed" and "San Francisco, CA" is also painted on the stern.

Coast Guard duty officer Corinne Gaines said a C-130 aircraft from the agency has located the vessel and is monitoring it from the air until crews can get to the scene by boat.

"Based on how recent the siting was, there's a good chance it will come to resolution," McPhillips said.

See the attached PDF for more information on the case, as well as photographs of the children.

-Bay City News contributed to this report.

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