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Yacht Race Tragedy

A death during the Newport-to-Ensenada Race leaves yacht club in mourning.

March 11, 2013
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Uncontrollable Urge

USCG

A San Diego man died over the weekend during a sailing race co-sponsored by the Newport Harbor Yacht Club, officials said.

Craig Thomas Williams, 36, was one of six crew members aboard the Uncontrollable Urge, a 32-foot vessel participating in the fourth annual Islands Race that began Friday in Long Beach and ended Saturday in San Diego.

The sailboat had issued a mayday call around 9 p.m. Friday as its rudder failed and the craft drifted toward the rocky shoreline of San Clemente Island. Initially the sailors turned down a rescue attempt by the Coast Guard or other boats in the race, but as waves pushed the craft closer to the island, the sailors were forced to abandon ship.

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Williams was found unresponsive in the water by Coast Guard rescue personnel. “He was recovered from the water and death was confirmed without medical intervention,” the San Diego County medical examiner said.

Five other crew members were rescued. The survivors were hoisted aboard the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter which had been dispatched from the Coast Guard’s San Diego station.

Coast Guard officials said the Uncontrollable Urge was in small-craft advisory weather containing 8-foot swells and 30-knot winds.

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Read more at LA Times.

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