3 dead during Redondo Yacht in Race image

Three crew members of a sailboat have been found dead, after the 37-foot sailing boat collided with a much larger vessel, a sailing organization said early Sunday.

The vessel, called the Aegean, was participating in a race from Newport to Ensenada, Mexico, when it was reported missing shortly before noon. Nearby vessels reported seeing debris in the area, prompting a Coast Guard search.

“An investigation was continuing, but it appeared the damage was not inflicted by an explosion but by a collision with a ship much larger than the 37-foot vessel,” Newport Ocean Sailing Association spokesman Rich Roberts said in a statement.

The bodies of the three crewmembers were discovered by a USCG helicopter crew and a civilian crew, according to the Coast Guard.

The 37-foot Aegean was participating in the 125-mile Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race that began Friday. Its home port is Redondo Beach.

A total of 210 boats were registered in the 65th annual yacht race, according to the Newport Ocean Sailing Association’s website. It wasn’t immediately clear how many finished.