A man's body was found over the weekend near the Coronado Islands by two fishermen, but there was no immediate word today if it is that of the , killing three others.
The body was found floating in the water about 2:30 p.m. Sunday by John Spike Ivins, of San Clemente, and his friend Kevin Veal, of Huntington Beach, who were out fishing at the Coronado Islands. Ivins told Phil Friedman Outdoors that they were shocked at what they discovered.
"Kevin and I saw something in the Middle Grounds (Coronado Islands) which at first we thought was a dead bloated sea lion. As we got closer to the floating object we were stunned to see human arms and legs, absolutely shocking," Ivins said.
Ivins said the body was bloated, decomposed and had neither hair nor clothes. Ivins called the United States Coast Guard and stood with the body until they arrived.
The man's body was was handed over to the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office and is scheduled to be examined today. According to the coroner's office, the unidentified man is between the ages of 45-55.
Officials would not say if the body is believed to be that of Theo Mavromatis.
Ivins told Phil Friedman Outdoors that the body was in such a state of decomposition, that it was almost unidentifiable.
"I know there has been speculation to the thought that the corpse may be Theo Mavromatis (from Redondo Beach, CA) the lost sailor from the tragic accident in the Newport to Ensenada race," Ivins said. "My wife sent me some articles on Mavromatis and that's when it hit home. I thought about his family and my kids today. It's just very sad."
Mavromatis, 49, of Redondo Beach, and three other men were taking part in an annual Newport-to-Ensenada race when their 37-foot boat dropped off the event's vessel-tracking system about 1:30 a.m. April 28, according to the Newport Ocean Sailing Association, which stages the competition.
Searchers later that day found the bodies of William R. Johnson Jr., 57, of Torrance, Kevin Rudolph, 53, of Manhattan Beach, and Joseph L. Stewart, 64, of Bradenton, Fla.
Autopsies determined that Johnson and Rudolph died of blunt-force trauma and that Stewart drowned, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office. The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its effort to find Mavromatis on April 29.
A floating debris field suggested that Mavromatis' Hunter 376, the Aegean, may have collided with a larger vessel. The accident occurred just south of the U.S.-Mexico border, about eight miles off the Baja California coast.
Others have suggested, based on data from Mavromatis' GPS tracker, that the boat may have collided with the northern tip of the Coronado Islands.
The fatalities were the first in the 65-year history of the annual Newport-to-Ensenada race.
-City News Service and Patch columnist Philip Friedman contributed to this report.