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Coast Guard And Mexican Navy Still Hopeful For Missing Passengers On A Capsized Fishing Boat
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Coast Guard And Mexican Navy Still Hopeful for Missing Passengers on A Capsized Fishing Boat

Struck by an electrical storm, the fishing boat, “Erik” floundered and then sank with its crew and passengers still aboard. One American passenger has been confirmed as dead and seven others remain unaccounted for with the search parameters being expanded when crews get back out on the water. Both the US Coast Guard and the Mexican Navy are cautiously optimistic that the remaining passengers may still be found alive, citing the warm waters and relatively calm conditions in the area.

Nineteen tourists and all twenty one crew members that were picked up were rescued after hours on the open water, clinging to floating coolers, rescue rings and life vests. It was reported by the US Coast Guard that some of the passengers did manage to swim the two miles or less to shore and then walked several miles to find help but there were no further details for how many actually made the swim.

When the 115 foot boat set sail, the plan was a six day fishing trip, an annual excursion for many of the American passengers on board. The boat ran into trouble less than one hundred miles south of the San Felipe port and sank less than two miles from shore. Designed for the waters in the area, the electrical storm may be the main cause for the sinking.

There has been conflicting reports on the various details of the sinking, including exactly how many people were on board when it sank. The total number of American tourists on board was 27 with most of those men coming from Northern California. The one confirmed fatality and all seven of the missing fisherman are American, according to the Coast Guard’s Senior Chief, Benny Minton. Loved ones are coming to be with their rescued husbands, fiances or boyfriends while others are coming to wait for news of the fate of those who remain unaccounted for.

All of the rescued tourists are described as in good condition, most with only scrapes and minor sunburns. As a precaution, they were evaluated at a local clinic and then sent to their hotel. One person was taken to a naval hospital for further evaluation because he is a diabetic.

Mexican Naval Captain, Benjamin Pineda Gomez announced that the navy will be expanding the search areas because additional survivors may still be found but may have drifted out of the immediate area. With the warm weather and warm water temperatures, survival is a possibility, however, dehydration and heat exhaustion can become a problem in a short period of time. It is also possible that some of the survivors may have swam but have not been found.

The Erik is owned and operated by Baja Sportfishing Inc.and has been on the water since 1989. According to the California Secretary of State, however, the Baja Sportfishing Inc. business license was recently suspended but there are no further details about why that happened.


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