Seven still missing after ship capsizing off Bajia, U.S. state of California

08:42, July 06, 2011      

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Seven people were still missing on Tuesday after a fishing boat sank off Baja in the U.S. State of California two days earlier, authorities said.

The U.S. Coast Guard said it was assisting a rescue operation by the Mexican navy with a C-130 aircraft preparing to take off from Sacramento, Northern California.

The sport fishing charter boat Erik was carrying 27 U.S. tourists, mostly from Northern California, and 16 Mexican crew members when it capsized in rough waters in the Sea of Cortez on Sunday.

One person was confirmed drowned in the accident, but he was not identified.

Thirty-five of the 43 people aboard the ship swam ashore or were rescued by local fishing boats, according to Mexican authorities.

The ship was sold-out for a four-night trip out of San Felipe, 300 miles (480 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles, said the Coast Guard.

The ship capsized after being struck by two rogue waves, according to the Coast Guard.

The Erik is a "mother ship" with supplies, sleeping berths and a galley for a fleet of "panga" boats that take fishermen to spots in the northern end of the Sea of Cortez.

The search was continuing because people could still be alive in the warm weather and water temperatures, authorities said.

Source: Xinhua
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