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Captain arrested after Mexico ship capsize, victim's kin says

A file picture of The Erik, which capsized and sank in an electrical storm off Mexico's Baja California peninsula.
The Erik, which capsized and sank in a storm off Mexico's Baja California peninsula on Sunday.Alecia Cornelius / The Reel Sister
/ Source: NBC News

The captain of the fishing boat that capsized over the weekend in the Sea of Cortez has been arrested in connection with the sinking of his ship, the son-in-law of one of the missing passengers said.

Fredrick Han said Mexican police boarded the boat Saturday night before it left port and told the captain, but not the passengers, that he was not allowed to leave the dock that night because of the storm, NBC station KNBC reported.

Han's father-in-law, Don Lee, is among the seven men who are still missing. There is hope he and the other six could still be alive because the water along Baja is 80 degrees, which would fend off hypothermia and increase the chances someone could still be alive.

Baja Sportfishing runs the fishing trip. The company sent an email Wednesday saying, "We are devastated by this horrible tragedy. Every effort is being made to assist the authorities in the search. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families."

The 115-foot boat, the Erik, capsized and sank in a storm, throwing the more than 40 people on board into the sea.

Survivors are telling harrowing stories of clinging to coolers and life boats for 16 hours after the boat sank. Most suffered cuts, bruises and a bad sunburn from their time at sea. A few said they found ice chips and Hershey Kisses inside of a cooler and that helped keep them hydrated and alert during the hours afloat.

Leslie Yee, from the Central Valley town of Ceres, has been confirmed dead, and seven other men remain missing.

A Coast Guard C-130 from Sacramento joined the Mexican Navy Wednesday in the search for the missing, TV station KCRA said.

The group was from various Bay Area cities on an annual Fourth of July fishing trip.