Yacht Race Deaths

Two sailors killed in a mysterious crash at sea that reduced their vessel to ruins during a yacht race from California to Mexico died of blunt-force injuries, while a third crewman drowned, coroners reported on Monday.

The finding of blunt-force trauma in two of the deaths aboard the 37-foot sailboat Aegean was further indication the impact was a powerful one. A fourth sailor was still missing as investigators sought to determine if the yacht struck another vessel, presumably a larger ship, or a land mass.

Race organizers said the Aegean disappeared from satellite tracking at about 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, and the U.S. Coast Guard said bodies and debris from the yacht were found near the Coronado Islands off the northwestern coast of Mexico.

The fatal wreck follows an April 14 sailboat racing accident at the Farallon Islands off the coast of San Francisco, which killed five sailors and led the U.S. Coast Guard to suspend racing in the Pacific Ocean off northern California.

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Reporting and writing by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Steve Gorman, courtesy of Reuters.

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