SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) — Bodies of four men reported missing after they failed to return from a daylong fishing trip were found floating near a capsized boat off the Southern California coast on Sunday, authorities said.
Their bodies were spotted off Santa Cruz Island, part of a chain of islands in the Santa Barbara Channel that was about 20 miles from Channel Islands Harbor where they launched their 24-foot boat Saturday morning, Coast Guard Lt. George Kolumbic said.
There was no immediate word on a cause of death.
The Coast Guard launched a search by land and sea after a relative of one of the men reported that they hadn't come back from their fishing trip off Santa Rosa or Santa Cruz islands that night, Kolumbic said.
Searchers aboard a Coast Guard helicopter spotted a body on the boat, two others floating within 100 yards away and a fourth body another five miles away.
None were seen wearing life vests, Coast Guard Petty Officer Adam Eggers said.
Kolumbic said by the time rescuers on boat arrived to the scene Sunday afternoon, they were only able to recover three bodies.
The weather was clear Saturday but waves became choppy by nightfall, Eggers said.
A search for the fourth body will resume Monday morning.
The men's identities were not immediately released.
Autopsies for the recovered bodies were being conducted by the Santa Barbara County coroner's office.
- Santa Barbara Channel