Body found in ocean identified as missing yacht skipper

Aegean at the start of the race - Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race 2012
Susan Hoffman
Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race – A body discovered near the Coronado Islands on Sunday has now been identified as 'Aegean' yacht skipper, 49-year-old Theo Mavromatis.

The Redondo Beach resident and three other men were taking part in an annual Newport-to-Ensenada race when the 37-foot boat they were aboard dropped off the event's vessel-tracking system just south of the U.S.-Mexico border about 1:30 a.m. on April 28.

Aegean Yacht's GPS track - Newport to Ensenada 2012

The next day searchers found wreckage from the Hunter 376 and the bodies of three men. Then on Sunday, a fisherman discovered human remains on the Coronado Islands, near the suspected crash site. The county medical examiner confirmed the identity of the remains as Mavromatis. The cause of death is listed as blunt-force injuries.

The 'Aegean,' was one of 213 boats that raced across shipping lanes used by large freighters, Navy ships and fishing vessels off San Diego.

The fatalities are the first ever recorded in the 65 years that the annual Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race has been run, race organizers said. It was the second offshore yacht racing disaster off California this year: five racers were killed off San Francisco three weeks ago.

In the disaster, other racers reported finding pieces of a broken-up sailboat southwest of Point Loma early in the morning.

The Coast Guard and a Vessel Assist boat later found the yacht's transom and three bodies west of the Coronado Islands, a small group of rocky islands about nine miles off the Baja California coast just south of the international border.