Aegean Yacht Crash Leaves 3 Dead, 1 Missing

Three people were killed and one remains missing after the 37 foot yacht Aegean crashed off of the Mexico/California coast early Saturday morning.

The boat, which was competing in a 125-mile yacht race from Newport Beach, Calif. to Ensenada, Mexico, disappeared about 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning, and was spotted later by a sailor, Eric Lamb, who pulled two of the bodies aboard his boat. A third was later recovered by a Coast Guard helicopter.

Lamb, who was working safety patrol on Saturday morning, reported that the yacht was in so many pieces that it looked like if had been through a blender.

He also noted that the bodies he pulled in were covered with scrapes and bruises, one sported severe head trauma.

Lamb came upon the scene of the accident about nine hours after it occured, and immediately radioed for Coast Guard assistance.

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Two other race participants, who were in the area around the time the boat disappeared, told the Associated Press on Sunday that they saw a tanker and heard warnings on their radios. Officials explain that due to the size of the vessel, it would be almost impossible for a tanker to notice a yacht hitting it in the dark.

The boat, which was identified by the rear transom that has the name Aegean printed on it, was 27-feet long, and its home port was in Redondo Beach, California. Rich Roberts, spokesman for The Newport Ocean Sailing Association, the agency who organized the race, stated that:

“It appeared the damage was not inflicted by an explosion but by a collision with a ship much larger than the 37-foot vessel.”

The four crew members names have not been released, pending notification of families. This is the second yacht crash during a race in the last month, the last being when a yacht leaving San Fransisco Bay was caught in a storm, which smashed it against rocks, killing five sailors.