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Boating Mishap Off Baja California Leaves Two Dead and Two Missing

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Four Southern Californians vacationing in Baja California Sur apparently drowned when their sailboat capsized in the Sea of Cortez, officials said.

The bodies of two victims were found Wednesday afternoon, said Charles Luoma-Overstreet, vice consul at the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana. They were identified as Wayne Shwartz, 48, of San Marcos, and Anastasia Seals, whose age was unavailable. She is believed to have resided in the Palm Springs area.

Still missing were Arlean Burlington, 28, of San Marcos, and Gordon Collins, 34, of the Palm Springs area, according to rescue worker Lee Cobb.

The four had departed Tuesday from the port of Punta Chivato aboard a 22-foot sailboat for a fishing excursion. The boat left in calm weather, authorities said, but strong winds and high seas developed Tuesday afternoon. The craft was reported overdue early Wednesday, triggering an air and sea search.

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Searchers found the two bodies floating about a mile from the capsized craft north of the Island of San Marcos.

The Sea of Cortez, also known as the Gulf of California, is a popular area for U.S. and Mexican recreational boaters, but authorities say the calm waters can quickly turn hazardous. Accidents involving pleasure craft are common.


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