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When Jim Gray disappeared at sea early in 2007, his friends and colleagues quickly began discussing ways to mobilize their skills and resources to help rescue him. That discussion evolved into an unprecedented civilian search-and-rescue exercise, which---along with the US Coast Guard mission it augmented---was eventually unsuccessful in locating Gray or his vessel.

In May of 2008, search participants and members of the US Coast Guard met face-to-face for the first time to discuss their experience and try to extract constructive lessons. This paper is an effort to distill some of that discussion for the computer science community. We describe the emergent structure of the team and its communication, the "polytechture" of the systems built during the search, and some social and technical challenges that arose from the experience.

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