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Yacht Collision During Race to Mexico Leaves at Least 3 Sailors Dead

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Yacht race via Shutterstock
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Three bodies were recovered from the water among the ruins of a yacht early this morning near the Coronado Islands off the coast of Mexico.The skipper of the Redondo Beach-based yacht Theo Mavromatis and his crew were racing 212 other boats in a 125-mile race from Newport Beach to Ensenada. Authorities believe that the 37-foot Aegean collided with a much larger ship in the middle of the night, killing the skipper and his crew, according to City News Service.

The Aegean disappeared from the tracking system for the race around 1:30 am last night, prompting a search by the Coast Guard. The boat was found near the Coronado Islands about 10 miles off the coast of Mexico and just 10 miles south of the border. Three bodies were recovered and authorities were still searching for a fourth this morning. Newport Beach Patch has photos of the yacht and its crew just as it was setting sail on Friday.

Race authorities told the Associated Press that the race goes through shipping lanes. It's possible that a large ship, even a freighter, could hit a yacht without anyone aboard noticing.

These are the first deaths in the 65 years of the race, and the Coast Guard said it will be investigating.