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Coast Guard ends search for seven missing in Gulf of California boat accident

July 12, 2011 |  9:05 pm

The U.S. Coast Guard has ended its search for seven U.S. citizens missing since a charter fishing boat sank July 3 during a freak storm in the Gulf of California.

The Coast Guard, at the request of the Mexican navy, had conducted 10 aircraft missions, searching more than 7,303 square miles. The Mexican navy has ended its search and is no longer requesting Coast Guard assistance, the Coast Guard announced Tuesday night.

Of 43 persons aboard the 105-foot vessel Erik, 35 crew members and passengers survived, some swimming and paddling up to 16 hours. One body was found on a desolate beach.

The Coast Guard search included C-130 Hercules aircraft from Sacramento and HH-60 Jayhawk helicopters from San Diego.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego