Coast Guard searching for missing Microsoft researcher

Jim Gray, 63, has been missing since Sunday

The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting an extensive search for Jim Gray, a senior manager with Microsoft Corp.'s Silicon Valley research organization, who failed to return from a sailboating trip Sunday off of San Francisco.

The Coast Guard said yesterday that it was continuing to search 4,000 square miles of Pacific Ocean between San Francisco and the Farallon Islands, where Gray was reportedly headed in his 40-foot sailboat, Tenacious, Sunday morning. He was reported missing by his wife that evening when he failed to return to their home in San Francisco as expected.

Jim Gray

Jim Gray Gray, 63, was hired in 1995 to run Microsoft's Bay Area Research Center, also based in San Francisco, where he researches databases and transaction processing systems, according to a biography of him on a Microsoft Web site. His particular focus is on using computers to make scientists more productive in the fields of astronomy, geography, hydrology, oceanography, biology and health care, the site explains.

Gray, who has also worked at such technology companies as IBM, Tandem Computers Inc. and Digital Equipment Corp., won the ACM Turing Award in 1998 for his work on transaction processing.

The Coast Guard said it has deployed a C-130 fixed-wing aircraft, an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter, three 87-foot coastal patrol boats and other equipment to continue the search. It has been assisted by the Alameda County Sheriff's Office. No signs of Gray or the vessel have been found, the Coast Guard said.

The phone at the eScience Group's office went unanswered when IDG News Service called for comment. 

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