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Three dead, one missing following California boat accident

At least three people have been killed and a fourth is missing following the third major boat racing accident in California waters in recent weeks. The recent surge in boating accidents has prompted the U.S. Coast Guard to suspend all sailboat racing in the Pacific Ocean near southern California for the near future as officials work to determine the cause of the crashes.

The boat that was involved in the latest fatal accident was a 37-foot yacht named Aegean. The sailors were participating in a race from Newport Beach, about 90 miles north of San Diego, to Ensenada, Mexico. The yacht departed from Newport Beach on Friday and was scheduled to arrive in Mexico on Sunday.

Early Saturday morning, however, the Aegean disappeared off the race organizers' tracking system while it was sailing several miles off of the coast near the border of California and Mexico.

Coast Guard officials concluded that the fatal boating accident was the result of the Aegean's collision with a much larger vessel. The force of that impact caused the deaths of three of Aegean crew members, and an additional sailor remains missing. The Coast Guard has not yet identified the people killed in the crash.

The boat accident was the third of its kind in less than a month. Recently, we wrote about a fatal accident that took the lives of four experienced sailors off the coast of San Francisco. You can read about that crash in our earlier personal injury blog post. In addition, two participants in a round-the-world race were injured when a wave crashed into their ship in late March.

Source: Reuters, "Three killed, one missing in latest California yacht accident," Alex Dobuzinskis and Paul Thomasch, April 29, 2012

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