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Sailor who vanished during Hurricane Otis still missing days before birthday

A missing persons sign with the hashtag "otis disappeared" covers a post in Acapulco, Mexico. Associated Press/Photo by Marco Ugarte

Sailor who vanished during Hurricane Otis still missing days before birthday

Ruben Torres recorded a 10-second audio message from his yacht on Oct. 25 as Hurricane Otis made landfall in western Mexico’s Acapulco Bay. Amid howling winds and blaring alarms, he told his family he was alright, but the conditions were horrible. He then asked them to pray. Torres has not been seen or heard from since. His wife, Susana Ramos, did not receive the message until days after he sent it. She tearfully told The Associated Press that Nov. 17 will be her husband’s 33rd birthday, and she is hoping for a miracle.

How severe was Hurricane Otis? Hurricane Otis went from a tropical storm to a Category 5 hurricane in 12 hours. Many of the 1 million people in Acapulco were caught off guard, including sailors. A 10 p.m. alert the night before Otis landed came too late for sailors to beach their boats, business leader Alejandro Martínez Sidney said. Authorities say Hurricane Otis killed at least 48 people, and dozens more remain missing.

Dig deeper: Listen to Javier Bolaños’ report on Hurricane Otis for The World and Everything in It podcast.

Travis K. Kircher

Travis is the associate breaking news editor for WORLD.

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