SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND, Calif. — Authorities have identified a man who died after abandoning ship during a yacht race from Orange County to San Diego.
Craig Williams, 36, of San Diego was killed in the incident, but five others were rescued after their ship issued a mayday call near San Clemente Island Friday night.
The U.S. Coast Guard rushed to help, but their services were declined at first, even though the sailors struggled and failed to anchor their 30-foot long vessel.
When the sailboat entered the surf line and the waves broke it apart, the crew abandoned ship and sought help.
A helicopter hoisted them to safety, but Williams did not survive.
His brother-in-law says Williams’ actions likely played a part in the survival of the remaining crew.
“He was always concerned more about his crew than the race or the boat itself,” Joe Banas said. “I trusted him. I trusted him more than I trusted myself.”
The five men who survived have been released from the hospital after treatment for cuts and hypothermia.