3 Dead, 1 Missing In California-Mexico Boat Race

By: CNN Posted By: Stephanie Schultz
By: CNN Posted By: Stephanie Schultz
Photos from the U.S. Coast Guard of the BERTHOLF.

Photos from the U.S. Coast Guard of the BERTHOLF.

(CNN) -- Three people died and another was missing after an apparent collision during a boat race Saturday from Newport, California, to Ensenada, Mexico, according to the U.S. Coast Guard and race organizers.

The four crew members were aboard the 37-foot Aegean sailboat, which was reported missing near the Coronado Islands, Mexico. The vessel, which was participating in the Lexus Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race, disappeared from the online race tracking system about 1:30 a.m. Saturday, organizers said.

Nearby vessels reported seeing debris in the area, prompting a Coast Guard search.

On Saturday afternoon, searchers found the three deceased crew members and debris from the Aegean.

Also found was the boat's wreckage, according to the race organizers, including the rear transom with the boat's name on it.

"An investigation was continuing, but it appeared the damage was not inflicted by an explosion but by a collision with a ship much larger than the 37-foot vessel," organizers said.

The U.S. Coast Guard, the Mexican navy and civilian rescuers are searching for the missing crew member.

The fatalities were the first in the race's 65-year history, organizers said.

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