Saturday, October 31, 2009

Shrimp Boat Sinks off Coast of Puerto Penasco

Three fishermen from the shrimp boat "Carranza II" remain missing after the boat sank in the Sea of Cortez Tuesday night, Oct. 27, 2009 about 25 miles off the coast of Puerto Penasco. Of the crew of six there was only one known survivor, 22-year-old Juan Francisco Gallegos Trejo, who was rescued Oct. 29 by the crew of the "Mister I" and taken quickly to the hospital.

The young man is suffering from hypothermia and dehydration, but is expected to recover.

A rescue operation involving some 40 pangas and 3 helicopters was quickly launched to search for the remaining 5 crew members. The search, concentrated in the vicinity of Isla San Jorge near where the wreck occurred, subsequently recovered 2 bodies near El Desemboque, leaving 3 crew members still missing.

The last time there was contact with Carranza II was at 22:58 hours on Tuesday night when they radioed for help from fellow shrimpers on the Independencia, saying they had navigation problems.

According to Gallegos Trejo, the boat went down when a storm unexpectedly arose during the night. High winds blew the shrimp nets into the propeller, fouling the rudder so the crew had no ability to control the boat. A large wave subsequently capsized the Carranza II, throwing the crew into the water.

Continuing bad weather at sea, with high winds and large waves, has hampered the search and rescue operation.

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