Hurricane Hilary swelled to a Category Four storm on September 23.

Hurricane Hilary moved away from Mexico's southwestern coast in the Pacific as a powerful Category 4 storm Friday, and search teams recovered the bodies of three fishermen caught in the storm.

The hurricane was not forecast to make landfall, but Mexico's coast has been being affected by wind, rain and heavy surf from Hilary, the U.S. National Hurricane Centre said.

The three fishermen, ages 27 to 50, went out to sea Thursday night despite a hurricane warning advising against it, Guerrero state's Public Safety Department said.

Navy rescue crews found the bodies Friday in the waters off the town of Marquelia. They had tied themselves to empty petrol containers, the department said.

Hilary's maximum sustained winds late Friday were near 230km/h. The hurricane was centered about 260km south of Manzanillo, Mexico, and was moving west at near 15km/h.

All tropical storm watches and warnings that had been in place for Mexico's coast were discontinued as forecasters predicted the storm would keep moving away from Mexico.

In the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Ophelia had winds near 85km/h and was not a threat to land. -Sapa-AP