Eric Guillen had plans to be married at New Bedford City Hall before New Year's. He was Juan Flores's nephew.
At 4:44 p.m. on December 20, 2004, the Coast Guard received an emergency beacon signal from the fishing vessel Northern Edge, followed by a mayday call reporting that the boat had overturned and was sinking. A few minutes later, the Diane Marie, fishing nearby, radioed the Coast Guard to report the sinking. The Diane Marie later rescued Pedro Furtado, a Northern Edge crew member who had escaped to the life raft. Coast Guard helicopters searched the area but had mechanical problems because of the extreme cold. Several Falcon jets joined the search, along with the Coast Guard cutters Escanaba and Tybee. The search ended on December 22 without finding the other five crew members: Captain Carlos Lopes, Glen Crowley, Raymond Richards, Juan Flores, and Eric Guillen.