The U.S. Coast Guard has called off the search for seven American tourists missing in Baja California after a July Fourth fishing trip ended in tragedy. Three of the men are from the Bay Area, including Brian Wong of Berkeley. Don Lee from San Ramon and Gene Leong of Dublin are also among the missing.
The Mexican navy joined the U.S. Coast Guard in nine days of aerial searching that spanned 7,303 square miles, finally calling off operations Tuesday without any success in locating the missing men.
Wong's wife, Elsie, declined to comment yesterday when approached by local media. Frederick Han, son-in-law of missing Lee from San Ramon, told the Contra Costa Times that the families are angry with the suspension of the search.
The fishing trip during the Fourth-of-July weekend ended when the group of 43 fishermen and crew members woke to a heavy storm early July 3, which capsized their 115-foot fishing boat. More than 16 hours passed as the crew and fishermen clung to coolers, rescue rings and life vests. A total of 35 fishermen and crew members survived. One American, Leslie Yee, died. A memorial for Yee was held Wednesday morning at Glad Tidings Church in San Francisco.