Search Baja California

Missing Boaters Found Safe

by Lynn Prince

All good sailors know that the Sea of Cortez can be like a fickle woman . . . she can be calm, cool, and peaceful . . . all smooth sailing . . . or in a twinkling of an eye, so angry, churning and dangerous. Three San Carlos boaters left on a 20-foot boat at 9 a.m., kissed their wives good-bye and said they would be back by 1 p.m. At nine o'clock that night, they still had not returned, and darkness and foreboding filled the hearts of the women as their men were nowhere to be found.

The Mexican Naval Station searched 40 miles in all directions with their helicopters. U.S. Coast Guards launched a C-130, which was soon overhead combing the area. And two boats from Guaymas joined the manhunt.

Finally, one of the wives got a call, and the Coast Guard found the three men walking a half hour north of La Manga. Their little boat had been swamped by the Bagitas. They were able to make it to shore and began their journey toward home. They encountered a large mountain on the way they couldn't scale, so they endured the water to pass the "montana." One of the men was finally able to get a signal on his wet cell phone, and made contact with his wife.

Within minutes Mexican Search and Rescue was there to pluck the weary navigators up in a helicopter and take them to the Naval Hospital in Guaymas. All men are doing well, and after all of the tragedy of Jimena, a story with a happy ending warms our hearts! Names of the men were withheld to protect the identity of the embarrassed sailors.

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