Sunday, August 28, 2011

Koong's Chinese Restaurant in Miliptas - 3 day fundraiser

  • From the wall of Ed Bernana: 
    On behalf of the Families of the missing Fishermen, I want to thank all my friends and Family who supported the Find our Fathers Fundraiser these past three days. My wonderful wife Mallory, my Sis in law Jackie Uribe, Nick and Nick Caraveli Jr., Mark Melin, Jason Dorsey, Doug Hames, Kathy Longorio and The Great Freddie Mata all came to Koongs Chinese Restaurant in Milpitas. Love to you all.
    Hope gives us strength! 

Busy, busy spreading the word and raising money one day at a time . .

from facebook wall:

Week of August 21:

Awesomeness! Final Edition in Santa Rosa! Thank you Carol Divodi!
Carol Divodi's Final Edition Poker Run here we come!!
Round Hill Country Club, Alamo
Thank you Cheryl Krier, Mary Chiu, Tonya Chinchilla President of the Contra Cos...ta NAIW Association and its members for supporting Findourfathers!

A celebration of Gene Leong

from wall post on facebook:
 Today we laughed and cried happy tears remembering a fabulous cousin, uncle, husband, dad and friend who was loved by so many. We saw video of him fishing and his "Oh shit" experience, as well as tales about his 55' Chevy from the good ole' days, and his zip lock bag moments. What a wonderful man and human being. His wife Karen, held her head up high with poise, elegance and strength. His son Craig reminded us that his father believed that we should live life to the fullest and without fear. His son Mike reminded us that we can not give up hope.
Eugene Leong ~ Gone Fishin

Survivors meet with the families of the missing fishermen

August 11, 2011

Joe Beeler, Dennis Deluca, Jerry Garcia, Bob Higgins, Lee Ikegami, Bruce Marr, Jim Miller, Mike Ng, Gary Wong, Rich Ciabattari, and Pete Zugar met with the families today to share their seconds they had before the Eric sunk. Today's meeting provided us with greater understanding and filled in the gaps that news reports failed to report. While it was difficult to listen to their horrific details, what is alarming is that every single survivor shared how there wasn't a single warning made by a crew member and how they had seconds to jump ship. A mere warning could have alter...ed their rescue, could have saved lives. We learned a tremendous amount today. Thank you to all of the men for revisiting those horrific moments just so that we can sleep a little better, just so that we could find some sort healing in all of this. 

Rich Ciabattari's life ring
Wall Photos from facebook

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fisherman Never Lost Hope . . .

Three fishermen lost at sea for nine months relied on a fishing rod constructed out of broken engine parts and rain collected in a bucket to survive.
Sometimes going days without food, the group caught sharks — once with their bare hands — and trapped seagulls. The fishermen hid under blankets to protect themselves from the sun.
“We ate raw fish, ducks, seagulls. We took down any bird that landed on our boat and we ate it like that, raw,” Jesus Vidana, one of the three survivors, said in an interview with a Telemundo reporter using a satellite phone from the ship that rescued them.
The fishermen took turns reading from one of their last remaining possessions — a battered Bible, which had only a few worn pages left at the end of their journey.
Most of their supplies had been lost to the sea for weeks when a Taiwanese fishing trawler found the group — naked, burned and emaciated — near the Marshall Islands, more than 5,000 miles from their starting point.
The Mexican fishermen rescued from their watery prison said they never thought they would die.
“We never lost hope because there is a God up there,” Vidana told Mexico’s Televisa news network, sounding hoarse and sleepy. “Our feet are swollen, our arms are swollen ... but we’re not in that bad shape.”
The long trip
Five fishermen departed Mexico’s Pacific Coast fishing village of San Blas between late October and early November 2005 on a routine shark fishing trip in their 25-foot, two-engine boat.

Image: Jesus Vidana
Mexican fisherman Jesus Vidana was rescued on Aug. 16 near the Marshall Islands after drifting for about nine months.
San Blas is home to thousands of fishermen, many without life-saving gear in their boats, said Jose Guadalupe Guerra, a town hall official in San Blas. “The fishermen here are very rudimentary. Most don’t comply with navigation rules, and the authorities don’t demand it either.” The group did not bring a radio nor a cell phone onto the vessel that they would call home until Aug. 9. Vidana said one of the engines broke down early in the trip and the other ran out of fuel. Without power, currents pulled the cabinless boat farther and farther west.
Miguel Gutierrez, a senior official at Mexico’s Foreign Ministry, said a survivor told a government official that one man died in January and the other in early February.
“They refused to eat, and that’s why they died,” he said. The three survivors tossed them overboard instead of using their bodies as food.
The survivors did not mention their dead companions when they were interviewed Wednesday by radio and television stations aboard the boat that rescued them near the Marshall Island.
“It is natural that people who have spent nine months on the high seas, in the conditions they survived, would not have their complete story straight away,” Foreign Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez said.
The three remaining took turns on watch for other boats while two slept. Vidana said this task caused a considerable amount of tension, although there were never any fistfights.
“We never lost hope because we were always seeing boats. They passed us by, but we kept on seeing them. Every week or so, sometimes we’d go a month without seeing one, but we always saw them, so we never lost hope,” Vidana said, noting that it is difficult to see a small boat in heavy ocean seas.
When the Japanese trawler found them, however, all three were sleeping. Vidana said the three cried when they realized they would be rescued.
‘Miracles exist’
Although most of the town had given them up for dead when the vessel never returned, Vidana’s mother refused to accept her son was dead. She said months ago she dreamed that Vidana was stuck on a deserted island.
The families were ecstatic after hearing news of their rescue. “Now you see that miracles exist,” said Marina Estrada, the aunt of one of the fishermen.

Vidana will return to his wife, parents, and two kids — one of which was born during his absence.
Mexico is sending an official to meet the survivors in the Marshall Islands and help bring them home when the trawler that picked them up returns to port in a couple of weeks.
“We’re recovering,” survivor Lucio Rendon said, “sleeping a lot, and eating well.”
Salvador Ordonez, the third survivor, said, “I knew I was going to live, that I wasn’t going to die.” The three men are around 30 years old.
Vidana said as soon as he returns to his village, he will take his family to a little church and give thanks to God. One of his first questions was who won the Mexican presidential election. He could not wait to eat meat tacos and quesadillas.
Vidana added that he will then continue to fish, noting that’s the only way he knows to feed his family.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Friend helping friends, one blog at a time . . .

This has purely been driven by a grassroots efforts. First, we wanted to make sure all 27 men were accounted for and brought home. We asked friends on facebook to call and write letters to our local congressional leaders and we were able to get the Mexico to extend the search. As the weeks passed, our objective shifted had to unfortunately shift from a search to a recovery. We are thankful for friends, family and the kindness of others that continue to help us find our love ones and push for justice in this tragedy.  We refuse to have our father's pass in vein.

Our message and cause is being spread, one blog at a time. Thank you Kim Nowlin for caring and sharing.

Friday, August 19, 2011

FoF gets support from Fish Talk Radio, AM830 Will Ebersman and Phillip Friedman

July, 28, 2011
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Washington D.C.
 Dear Mr. President:
 I am requesting your assistance in retrieving the bodies of 6 (six) American fishermen, including two veterans who were recipients of the Purple Heart.

On July 4 of this year, the Erik, a Mexican sportfishing vessel operating out of San Felipe, Mexico sank in approximately 300 feet of water.  The circumstances surrounding the sinking still have not been fully explained or documented by Juan Tintos Funcke, Secretary of Tourism, Baja California Norte or anyone else in the Mexican government.

The crew of 17 (seventeen), all Mexican nationals, were rescued.  Six anglers out of thirty-four (34) passengers, all American nationals, are still missing.  To date, only one angler’s body has been recovered.  It is believed that the remaining six victims are trapped in the Eric’s cabins.

There has been little information disseminated to the families of the dead regarding any efforts that might have been taken in retrieving the bodies.

An investigator who was on scene the day the Erik sank was kind enough to share the results of a joint rescue effort with Mexico, which includes the latitude and longitude of the Erik’s projected location.

I am specifically requesting that you exert all possible efforts upon the Government of Mexico to locate, retrieve and return the bodies of these missing American citizens to their families to enable burial and a start to the healing process.

I eagerly await a response.  As co-host of Fish Talk Radio, AM830, KLAA, Anaheim, CA (Thursday evenings, 9-10 PM), I have received a number of inquiries regarding this unfortunate event.  The American public wants to know what is being done.

Please do not hesitate to contact either me at (323) 839-8349 or via e-mail at   My co-host, Mr. Philip Friedman, is available at (424) 237-0250 or via e-mail at, if you have any questions or need additional information.

 Will Ebersman and Philip Friedman

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thank you Mexico for extending the search, however . . .

Mexico extended the search because of the actions of the PEOPLE (facebook friends) whom wrote letters, made phone calls and signed petitions asking our congressional leaders to request that Mexico extend the SEARCH. 

Thank you Representative Jackie Speier's for writing a letter to Hilary Clinton, where in which this letter was signed by: Senator Diane Feinstein, Senator Barbara Boxer, and Representatives: Pete Stark, Lynn Woosley, Ann Eshoo, Barbara Lee, Jerry McNerney, and Mike Thompson. Thank you Leland Yee for holding a press conference and assisting us as well!

While we are appreciative that the search was extended, we still have a boat that needs to be located and retrieved. Of the 1,400 views we get a day, we hope that those of you in power can continue to help us. That includes those within the Mexican Government and our own Government. Yes, we are respectfully asking you to take action.

39 Days

We do not know the exact coordinates of the vessel Eric.

We do know that it was the locals that were the first to respond, the McGee's helped coordinate a rescue effort with many others involved too (Vasquez family, and Malicki family).

We do not know why more is not being done.

We do know that Mexico is investigating the incident.

We do not know the whereabouts of the owner and or captain.

We do know that our loved ones have been out there for 39 days. Storms will occur in the Sea of Cortez, but deaths could have avoided by a simple distress signal, warning to ALL passengers and life jackets for ALL passengers.

We do not know how Mexico is investigating this nightmare without the evidence, the BOAT.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Facebook Stats . . .Keep hope alive and spreading the word one post at a time

Monthly Stats:
6,250 monthly active users4,071 since last week
3,280 people like this25 since last week
1,035 wall posts or comments this week73 since last week
2,775 visits this week272 since last week

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Perseverance is a great element in success; if you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate you are sure to wake up somebody. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Monday, August 8, 2011

Response from Secretary of Tourism for the State of Baja, Ca 7/29/11

Mr. Funcke responded promptly to an email from Mandi Lee, daughter of Don Lee. When she requested information regarding the location of the sunken ship, he responded, "-Authorities have informed us that they have estimation of  where the ship is located, as well as estimation of the depth at which it rests. Despite the descent of Navy divers to a depth of 40 meters-as far as their equipment allows-they could not establish visual contact with the ship. This limitation makes it important to note that the Government of Mexico asked for assistance from the U.S. Government in the form of specialized equipment to conduct the deep water search."

The Goodness of People. Renewal in Humanity . . Hope Gives Us Strength

from a Ed Berbena, posted on facebook on 7/3/11 
Yesterday I downtown the morning at the Great Mall in Milpitas passing out fliers and talking to businesses. Talked with Starbucks Supervisor Chris who allowed posting of our General info Flyer but needed to wait fir Mgrs. Approval to post... fundraiser flyer. As I was leaving he called out to me, reached out to hand me something and almost in tears said, "I wish I could give you more but here's a couple of dollars. I hope it helps". I thanked him, told him what a Big Heart he had and
how donations can be made. I tell you this because this made me realize that for all the Immoral, dishonest political BS in this world, for the most part I still believe in the overall goodness of people. It is important to me, as I am sure it is to all of you, the work we are doing to get our family members
and friends home. If possible, what's just as important is how we are touching people's Hearts
and Lives and allowing them into ours. This gives me Hope. Many of us have been turned away by
restaurant business owners, some won't even let us hang a flyer. One wanted to charge me
to hang a flyer. I choose not to dwell on this negativity. Instead I'll forever remember Chris, scraping a few coins up to help a fellow human being. It keeps me going.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Find Our Fathers fundraisers TODAY!


Rigatoni's in Dublin - all day
Chevy's at various locations - 4 to 10pm

Go to to print flyers you need to have at the time of purchase!