MISSING PERSONS RECOVERED DEAD By Robert
Quirk July 26, 2009
Two persons were swept out to sea, one on July 22nd
and one on 25th, North of Cabo San Lucas on the Pacific side,
in the largest surf of the season. The first victim, Linward Garrett,
was a 30 year old African American from Dallas, Texas, who came to Los
Cabos with his wife, Augustina, for a one week vacation to celebrate
their first wedding anniversary. As the surf picked up on July 22, they
went swimming at Los Cerritos, a surfing beach just South of Todos
Santos, when a strong rip tide began pulling her away from shore and
into the ocean. Her husband was able to reach her in time, and push her
back towards shore to safety. She survived, however he was swept away
in the under current. The family contacted me to assist in the search,
as I know the coastline well from flying an ultralight trike and
spotting whales for tourists for the past 5 seasons. The brother of the
victim, David, contracted me to fly him up and down the coast to search
for the body. On the evening of July 24, we spotted a body floating
about 50 yards off shore, 15 miles North of Cabo San Lucas. We landed
on the beach, and since David didnít swim, I stripped off all my clothes
and dove into the surf. The body was floating just outside the
breakers, infront of some rocks. I was able to get out past the 10 foot
waves, in front of the rocks, and grab the body and swim towards shore.
But on the way in, I was hit by a set wave and pulled underwater with
body. I held onto the leg and continued to swim towards shore, and was
hit by another set wave that ripped the leg from my hands and took the
body and me under water. I surfaced and began looking all around for
the body, but it was sucked underwater and nowhere in sight. It was now
almost dark, and David was still waiting on shore, so I swam in by
myself, we got in the plane to continue the search, and now could not
locate the body by air either. We came back at 7am the next morning on
July 25, and found the body again, about 50 yards off shore and just
South of where it was the night before. The waves had calmed down, and
there were Mexican Marines on the beach also looking for the body, so we
circled it several times, landed on the beach, and directed the Marines
to the body. They radioed for 2 rescue boats, who hooked the floating
body and drug it up onto the deck their boat. However, this body was
not the one we were looking for. It was that of a local 42 year old
Mexican national, Francisco Sandoval, who moved to Cabo San Lucas years
ago from Mazatlan with his family. He was identified by his 23 year old
son who was also down at the beach aiding in the search for his father.
He said had been fishing off the rocks with his Dad the day before when
a large wave grabbed him and swept him out to sea.
By this time, the entire family of Linward Garrett Jr. had flown into
Cabo to aid in his search and console his wife, Augustina. His brother
David, sister Candice, mother, and father-in-law had all come to town,
and wanted to stay until the body was found. So we continued the search
again on July 25. We flew about 60 miles of coastline, South of Cabo
San Lucas and North of Pastora point, searching for the body. After
spotting about every bat ray, shark, sea lion, and fish between Cabo and
Los Cerritos, we finally located the body on the rocks, just North of
the Los Cerritos bay. It had been swept up into a rock channel and
hidden infront of the cliffs. It had now been in the water for 4 days,
and was beginning to decompose. The family was able to identify the
body and are now working to return it back to the United States for
burial. Both families are devastated, to say the least, but can now
deal with closure.
After struggling with the body the night before, we located it
again the next morning, 15 miles South of Cabo San Lucas.
Notifying the marines on the beach, they called in a boat.
the marine boat came, they were directed to the body.
second marine boat was called in to assist. In this photo,
they are pulling the body onto the deck of the red boat.
In this photo, the marine boats are leaving, and we thought
the job was over. A few minutes later, after talking to
a 23 year old boy on the beach, I discovered it was not the
body we were searching for. It was the body of Francisco
Sandoval, a Mexican National who was fishing from the nearby
rocks before drowning. The boy on the beach was
Linward Garrett Jr. (L) and wife Augustina (R) came to Cabo to
celebrate their 1st year anniversary.
After finding out the first body was not
Linward, I met with the family again, hugged the mother, and
promised to continue the search.
Later in the day, on July 26th, the body was found after scouring
hundreds of miles of ocean. It was located just North of
Los Cerritos, in a remote rocky area, and had washed up a rock
channel from the ocean.
was lead down to the body, where it was identified as the
missing person, Linward Garrett Jr.
Below is a photo of Gilberto
Perez, from a ranch in the hills East of Pescadero. Gilberto flew
with me for days, has a excellent eye, and was an incredible help.
Surfing Shipwreck Slideshow June 14, 2009