Last week we reported that California sailor William ‘Bill’ Austin was missing in the Sea of Cortez after his boat was found washed ashore on a beach north of Nopolo, near Loreto, on March 12. Two days ago we received word that fishermen in the area of Punta Lobo, Isla del Carmen, had found a body in the water. The report, issued by Subsecretaría de Proteccíon Civil BCS, stated that the body was to be recovered by naval authorities and Civil Protection and been taken ashore for identification.
Yesterday we learned that the body has been identified as that of William Walter Austin III of Marina del Rey.
“Sources from the General Prosecutor’s Office of State Justice (PGJE) have confirmed that unfortunately, the body located this morning in the vicinity of Punta Lobos, Isla del Carmen, Municipality of Loreto, corresponds to the North American, William Walter Austin III.”
The report further advises that the cause of death is still to be determined.
To date, this is the only information we have been able to find about the situation. We therefore ask that readers please be mindful of this when sharing or commenting on this story.
We are heartbroken to learn that we’ve lost a member of the Baja Ha-Ha fleet. Austin had sailed to Mexico with the 2021 fleet, and judging by the comments to our story last week and on social media posts, he was a well-liked and well-regarded sailor. We know he had big plans to enjoy the Sea of Cortez and perhaps the coast of Central America, and that he had a dream of sailing the Med with friends and family.
Our sincere condolences to his family and all who knew and sailed with him.