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Crews Recover Yacht Wreckage From Deadly Farallones Crash

HALF MOON BAY (CBS SF) -- A 38-foot yacht that was involved in a deadly crash earlier this month was recovered from the Farallon Islands Monday.

The yacht, Low Speed Chase, was hit by large waves and crashed into rocks during the Full Crew Farallones Race on April 14.

One sailor, Marc Kasanin, 46, of Belvedere, was pulled out of the water by rescuers and pronounced dead at the scene.

Four others—Alexis Busch, of Larkspur; Alan Cahill, of Tiburon; Jordan Fromm, 25, of Kentfield; and Elmer Morrissey, of Ireland—are still missing and presumed dead.

Crews set out for the Farallon Islands to recover the wreckage around 3:30 p.m. Monday, U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokesman Doug Cordell said.

Ballard Diving and Salvage crew members flew to the island in an Aris helicopter, prepared the wreckage and hoisted the roughly 15,000-pound vessel to Half Moon Bay by 7 p.m., Cordell said.

"The operation went fairly smoothly and quickly," Cordell said.

Cordell added that in order to recover the yacht, salvage crews had to negotiate a number of obstacles, including rocky terrain, inclement weather, and a fragile ecosystem.

The Farallon Islands are host to a wide variety of wildlife, including the largest nesting seabird colony south of Alaska, Cordell said.

Those birds are expected to begin laying eggs as soon as next week, which meant the salvage crew had a limited opportunity to access the wreckage, he said.

"If we didn't do it within the next several days, we would have had to wait until probably October," Cordell said.

Cordell said Monday's recovery was successful with minimal impact to the islands' wildlife.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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