Fishing Captain Arrested: Family Member - NBC Bay Area

Fishing Captain Arrested: Family Member

The U.S. Coast Guard offered Mexico its help in the search and rescue operation



    Seven boaters are still missing after their boat overturns (Published Wednesday, July 6, 2011)

    A C-130 Hercules airplane took off from Sacramento Wednesday to help search for the missing Bay Area men who were on board a fishing boat that capsized over the weekend in the Sea of Cortez.

    More than forty people were on board the boat. All but seven were rescued. One has been declared deceased and six others remain missing.  Leslie Yee, from the Central Valley town of Ceres, has been confirmed dead in the accident which came after a flash storm upended the boat spilling dozens of tourists and crew members into the water.

    The group was from various Bay Area cities on an annual Forth of July fishing trip.

    The son-in-law of the man who organized the trip told NBC Bay Area that the captain of the boat has been arrested in connection to the sinking of his ship.

    Fredrick Han said Federales boarded the boat Saturday night and told the captain, but not the passengers, that they were not allowed to leave the dock that night because of the storm. 

    Han's father-in-law, Don Lee, is among the men who are still missing. There is hope he and the other six could still be alive because the water along Baja is 80 degrees, which would fend off hypothermia and increase the chances someone could still be alive.

    Baja Sportfishing runs the fishing trip.  The company sent an email Wednesday saying, "We are devastated by this horrible tragedy. Every effort is being made to assist the authorities in the search. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be  with the families."

    Survivors are telling harrowing stories of clinging to coolers and life boats for 12 hours after the boat sank. Most suffered cuts, bruises and a bad sunburn from their time at sea. A few said they found ice chips and Hersey Kisses inside of a cooler and that helped keep them hydrated and alert during the hours floating out at sea.

    Below is video from a previous year's trip. It shows how the boat is used as a base of operations and sets out smaller fishing boats for day of fishing.