Fascinating... but ultimately almost certainly tragic
The flurry of activity, which began in earnest on Tuesday, escalated as the days and nights passed. A veritable Who’s Who of computer scientists from Google, Amazon, Microsoft, NASA and universities across the country spent sleepless nights writing ad hoc software, creating a blog and reconfiguring satellite images so that dozens of volunteers could pore over them, searching for a speck of red hull and white deck among a sea of gray pixels.
Coast Guard officials said they had never before seen such a concerted, technically creative effort carried out by friends and family of a missing sailor. “This is the largest strictly civilian, privately sponsored search effort I have ever seen,” said Capt. David Swatland, deputy commander of the Coast Guard sector in San Francisco, who has spent most of his 23-year career in search and rescue.