California Tourist Confirmed Dead in Mexico Fishing Boat Accident
by Matthew D. Shaffer on July 11, 2011
A California man is the sole confirmed fatality in a deadly fishing boat accident off Baja California. At least seven people are still missing. The missing tourists were part of a fishing expedition in Mexico, when their vessel overturned in the early hours of Saturday morning. The Mexican Navy and the US Coast Guard are continuing efforts to look for the survivors of the tragedy.
The fishing boat, the Erik, had 40 passengers on board, including 17 Mexican crew members. The rest were all American tourists. Disaster for the fishing party struck at about 2 AM on Saturday morning, when large waves began rocking the boat. In just a few minutes, the vessel capsized, and most of the tourists either jumped into the sea or were thrown in. The vessel sank within a couple of minutes. Over the next few terrifying hours, the survivors clung to ice coolers, waiting for help. Some of them swam to shore.
The vessel sank so fast, there wasn't enough time to get a Mayday alert out, and no one knew about the accident. It was only when the Mexican Navy came upon some survivors in the water, that the authorities were alerted to the tragedy.
Efforts to find the missing tourists are still on. The Mexican Navy has hopes for finding them alive and safe. The waters off Baja California are quite warm this time of year. Authorities believe that if the survivors can hold their own in the scorching temperatures and keep exhaustion at bay, they might survive.
Obviously, these are desperate times for the families of the seven tourists who continue to remain missing. We hope their loved ones are found as quickly as possible.
If you have been injured in a commercial fishing vessel accident or any other kind of maritime accident, speak to a maritime attorney at Schechter McElwee Shaffer and Harris to learn your rights.