Three Dead in California Yacht Accident

April 29, 2012 Updated: July 31, 2012

At least three people died and one person is missing after a yacht race accident on the California coast near the Mexican border, according to the race’s organizer, the Newport Ocean Sailing Association (NOSA).

The 37-footlong vessel was taking part in a race from Newport, Calif., to Ensenada, Mexico, according to a statement from NOSA. The vessel appeared to have collided with a larger ship.

“An investigation was continuing, but it appeared the damage was not inflicted by an explosion but by a collision with a ship much larger than the 37-foot vessel,” said the statement. It is not yet clear if the owner and the captain of the ship, Theo Mavromatis was killed in the accident.

The ship’s image “vanished from the online race tracking system in place for the race” early in the morning on Saturday, prompting the U.S. Coast Guard to launch a search and rescue operation, according to the organizers.

The Coast Guard and the Mexican navy are searching for the missing person.