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Brother says sailor went missing before

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The family of a Seattle sailor said Tuesday they had remained hopeful that he would be found because he had been feared lost at sea before.

"He’s been through this before," said Kent Foreman, brother of Ira Foreman, 66, whose disappearance prompted an exhaustive search by the Coast Guard for four days. Ira Foreman used his cellphone Saturday to tell his ex-wife that he was fine.

"I was worried, concerned, but at the same time if he’s that stupid, that’s the way it will end," his brother said. "I’d be saddened that it happened, but at least he was doing what he loved to do."

He said that about 30 years ago their mother called the Coast Guard to search for his brother while he sailed from Fiji to Hawaii.

Ira Foreman was reported missing nearly a week after he was due to arrive on Oahu. The Coast Guard searched more than 200,000 square miles, then suspended the effort Thursday.

He was surprised to hear about the massive effort to find him, said Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Leigh Cotterell. Winds apparently pushed his boat outside the search zone.

"It’s pretty unusual," Cotterell said. "We don’t normally suspend searches and then have someone show up the next day."

Foreman had enough supplies and food, but his VHF radio wasn’t working and he was previously out of cellphone range, Cotterell said.

Kent Foreman described his brother as a loner who is known to spend months living on his boat. "I’m really relieved," he said. "I’m just glad he’s found. My biggest concern is having him return home now."

The sailor was on Hawaii island repairing his boat and preparing for a voyage back home. Calls to a number provided by his brother were not immediately answered Tuesday.

The Coast Guard will review the search to see whether any lessons can be learned. It didn’t know how much the "four-day, around-the-clock" search had cost, Cotterell said.

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