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Fishermen missing in aftermath of Hurricane Marie

Three fishermen were missing off Mexico’s coast today as Hurricane Marie, the eighth hurricane of the eastern Pacific season, churned in the Pacific Ocean.
Marie briefly hit Category 5, the most powerful storm rating on the Saffir-Simpson scale, before calming slightly, the Australian news agency AAP reported.

“Unfortunately, we have three missing fishermen,” Wenceslao Petit, director of civil protection in the tourist hub of Los Cabos, told AAP.

Authorities were searching for the men, who had gone out to sea on the Tio Chori with four others. The boat sank in heavy waves caused by the storm. Four of the fishermen were able to swim to shore.

AAP said the civil protection agency has declared a state of emergency in the Los Cabos region.

Marie kicked high swells along Mexico’s northern Pacific coast today even as it weakened slightly, to a Category 4 storm, the Associated Press reported. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm probably will raise waves later this week along Southern California.

The Miami-based Hurricane Center said Marie had sustained winds of as much as 145 mph and was about 465 miles southwest of the southern tip of Baja California.

It said the storm was moving west-northwest at 12 mph.

Swells provoked by the storm were affecting much of Mexico’s Pacific coast and the Hurricane Center warned of dangerous surf and rip current conditions. The state of Baja California Sur urged people to be on alert.

Hurricane-force winds extended as much as 60 miles from the storm’s center and tropical storm-force winds reached out to 310 miles.