From right: Joe Jacinto and Wings Stocks with members of the Mexican Navy
SACRAMENTO, CA - The chartered fishing boat that sank in a storm last Fourth of July weekend in Mexico's Sea of Cortez has been located.
Eight men died when the Erik capsized and sank in deep water south of San Felipe on July 3, 2011. Only one body was recovered.
Joe Jacinto of Clarksburg told News10 that he was with a professional diver on Tuesday when the wreck was discovered.
"We were able to physically touch the boat and survey it and get a good look to see what it would take to do a future recovery," Jacinto said in a phone call on his drive home from Mexico.
Jacinto's stepfather, Al Mein of Twain Harte, is among the missing.
Jacinto had made three previous trips to the general area where the Erik sank to survey the ocean bottom with sonar and magnetometers.
This week on the fourth trip, Jacinto was accompanied by Wings Stocks, an experienced salvage diver from Santa Cruz.
"We had a high confidence target," Jacinto said.
Stocks compared the wreck's features with existing photographs of the Erik to make a positive identification, Jacinto said.
Jacinto will meet with the families of the other missing men to decide whether they should return to recover the bodies.
A recovery operation would be expensive and potentially dangerous, he said.
"We may, as a group, decide they should remain buried at sea."
Jacinto gave the wreck coordinates to representatives of the Mexican Navy, who told him they would protect the site if families choose to leave the boat undisturbed.
by George Warren, GWarren@news10.net