Two San Diego divers told 10News Wednesday they have video proof a sailboat crashed into the North Coronado Island during a boat race last April.
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The Aegean sailboat disappeared overnight last April during the Newport-to-Ensenada Boat Race with four men on board. Initial speculation suggested the sailboat was hit by a much larger vessel like a tanker. Further investigation revealed the sailboat likely wrecked along the North Coronado Island.
However, the heavier wreckage was never found.
"Well, it's a modern day mystery," said diver Russell Moore of Xplore Offshore. "It's a shipwreck because it's about sailors who lost their life."
The Aegean was out of Redondo Beach with sailors from California and one from Florida. Lighter wreckage was found the next day, and the sailors' bodies were later recovered as well. A medical examiner report said they died of blunt force trauma, but how they received that trauma remained a mystery.
How the sailboat wrecked bothered San Diego divers Moore and his friend, Ed Harris.
"In the end, most people believe they sailed into the island under some circumstances we may never know," said Moore.
No one knows whether the sailors fell asleep or suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Moore and Harris started their search at the North Coronado Island, but had to wait four months for the ocean currents to die down. The warmer weather provided enough calm waters for Moore and Harris to dive in with a HD GoPro underwater camera.
Just minutes into their dive, the men found the Aegean's engine and its keel.
"The keel and the engine are going to be where the event happened and we found the keep in two feet of water, right up against the rocks," said Harris.
"So it really confirms the location of the final seconds or minutes of the vessel," said Moore.
"The lighter debris field floated off instantly, within a few hours, and that what was initially discovered," said Harris. "We know that was its final resting place because heavy objects don't move."
Moore said, "They literally hit just the tip of the island. Thirty or 40 feet in either direction, they would have sailed right by this island."
The divers have turned their video over to U.S. Coast Guard investigators.
"They have all the pieces of the puzzle, we are just the last piece of the puzzle," said Harris. "Any time you can bring closure to a family, or even four families to help solve a mystery, it's a good deal."
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