Coast Guard: 2 bodies recovered, 5 people missing after storm in Mobile Bay

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Mobile Bay, Alabama -- Two bodies have been recovered from Mobile Bay, Alabama, after a severe storm capsized sailboats in a regatta on Saturday, U.S. Coast Guard Cap. Duke Walker said Sunday.

Walker said authorities are still looking for five missing people. Maj. Steve Thompson with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency called the effort "a recovery operation."

More than 100 sailboats took part in the Dauphin Island Race on Saturday afternoon and as many as 50 people in all were rescued from the water, the Coast Guard said.

"Our guys worked hard and long to rescue people," Walker said. "This is an awful tragedy and our hearts go out to the families."

One body was found Saturday night and another Sunday morning, he said. Walker says they believe at least one person was not from the regatta, but was a mariner on the water at the time.

Jeff Carter, deputy director of Mobile County Emergency Management, said besides overturned sailboats, one vessel hit a bridge.

Coast Guard Sector Mobile received a report at approximately 4:30 p.m. Saturday that a sailing regatta in Mobile Bay had been struck by severe weather, causing several vessels to capsize and leaving a number of people in the water.

The Fairhope Yacht Club sponsors the Dauphin Island Race, according to the club website. The club says this is the 57th year for the event.

By Janet DiGiacomo, Carma Hassan and Ralph Ellisa

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