Mexico Searches for 7 Missing in Capsize

Three Bay Area brothers among those missing when fishing boat excursion goes awry.

By The Associated Press
|  Tuesday, Jul 5, 2011  |  Updated 8:58 AM PDT
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Mexico Searches for 7 Missing in Capsize

AP

Brothers Craig Wong, left, and Gary Wong, survivors of a fishing boat that capsized, relax inside a hotel after they were rescued by the Mexican Navy in the town of San Felipe, Mexico, on July 4.

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Mexican rescuers were scouring the Gulf of California for seven U.S. tourists whose fishing boat capsized two days ago, saying they were extending their search because the missing tourists could still be alive in the warm, calm waters.

One American has been confirmed dead in the accident, which came after a sudden storm upended the boat before dawn Sunday, spilling dozens of tourists and crew members into the water.

The identity of the dead man was not released. By early Monday, 19 of the tourists and all 16 crew members had been picked up by the navy or other fishing boats after clinging to coolers, rescue rings and life vests for more than 16 hours.

Mexican navy, army and state officials met late Monday to discuss the search and there were reports they would call off rescue efforts. But instead they announced the search would continue over an extended area.

Mexican navy Capt. Benjamin Pineda Gomez said that with the warm weather and water temperature in the Gulf of California, it's still possible that the missing tourists are alive. "A person who casts away can survive many days. That sea is calm,'' he said.

Most of the 27 men on the fishing excursion are from Northern California and had made the trip before. Gary Wong was on the trip with three brothers, Glen, Craig and Brian, all from the San Francisco Bay Area.

The group had made the trip twice before, according to a relative, who asked not to be named. Brian Wong, of Berkeley, is still missing.

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