Crew members are mourning the death of a San Diego man killed over the weekend during a sailing race co-sponsored by the Newport Harbor Yacht Club.
Craig Thomas Williams, 36, was one of six crew members aboard the Uncontrollable Urge, a 32-foot vessel participating in the fourth annual Islands Race that began Friday in Long Beach and ended Saturday in San Diego.
The sailboat issued a distress call around 9 p.m. Friday after its rudder failed and the craft drifted toward the rocky shoreline of San Clemente Island, authorities said. Coast Guard officials said the Uncontrollable Urge was in small-craft-advisory weather, with 8-foot swells and 10-knot winds.
Initially, the crew turned down a rescue attempt by the Coast Guard or other boats in the race, but as waves pushed the craft closer to the island, the sailors were forced to abandon ship, officials said
Williams was found unresponsive in the water by Coast Guard rescue personnel. "He was recovered from the water and death was confirmed without medical intervention," the San Diego County medical examiner said.
The five other crew members were rescued, hoisted aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter that had been dispatched from the Coast Guard's San Diego station.