Matthew Kirby Gale Jr.

Gale, circa 2008; Anthony John Harrow

  • Missing Since 03/15/2008
  • Missing From Marin County, California
  • Classification Lost/Injured Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 12/11/1939 (83)
  • Age 68 years old
  • Height and Weight 6'0, 210 pounds
  • Associated Vehicle(s) Green and white 31-foot sailboat called the Daisy (accounted for)
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. White hair, brown eyes. Gale is primarily known by his middle name, Kirby.

Details of Disappearance

Gale was last seen in Marin County, California on March 15, 2008. He and another man, Anthony John Harrow, sailed out of the Richardson Bay Marina in Gale's green and white 31-foot sailboat, the Daisy, for a sailing race with three dozen other boats. A photograph of Harrow is posted with this case summary.

The race was from the Golden Gate Yacht Club to a buoy twelve miles offshore. Gale and Harrow left at 9:00 a.m. and were last seen at 1:00 p.m. By this time, they'd fallen behind most of the other boats. They never returned to shore. Gale's car, containing an old boat radio and sea charts, was found in the marina parking lot.

Sailing conditions that day were challenging, with 12- to 16-foot swells and 30-mile-per-hour winds. The Coast Guard had issued a small craft advisory, but the warning didn't apply to Gale's fairly large boat. The vessel had recently undergone upgrades, but it had only minimal safety equipment on board.

Gale's family reported him missing six hours after he was last seen. The Coast Guard launched an extensive search for the missing men and their boat. They found large pieces of sunken wreckage from the Daisy outside the Golden Gate on March 16.

That same day, Harrow's body, wearing a life vest, washed ashore at Moss Beach in San Mateo County. Gale's remains have never been located, and the Coast Guard was unable to determine what caused the Daisy to sink.

Gale graduated from Princeton University and Columbia Medical School, and had a successful career as a neurologist for 35 years before his retirement. Besides sailing, his hobbies include mountain climbing, skiing, swimming, international travel, reading and listening to classical music.

He is presumed lost at sea. His family held a memorial service for him on March 30, fifteen days after he disappeared.

Investigating Agency

  • Marin County Sheriff's Department 415-499-7238

Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated September 15, 2008; casefile added.