6 dead, 31 missing as tourist boat sinks in Colombia
The boat El Almirante was carrying 150 tourists, when it was shipwrecked yesterday in the waters of the Peñol-Guatapé reservoir (Antioquia), northwest of Colombia.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said that three people died in the hospital and other bodies were recovered in the water. Another 122 people have survived, and the government intended to carry out the rescue operation throughout the night, but due to weather conditions, they had to be suspended, according to the governor of Antioquia, Luis Pérez Gutiérrez.
"There is no registration or identification of passengers who boarded the boat," said the governor, indicating that "in the chapel of the municipality of Guatapé there are families asking for a total of 16 missing," according to Infobae.
Santos also reported that the first efforts would focus on "rescuing people" and later an investigation would be carried out to see if "security requirements were met", assuring that so far, "we have no information to establish why it sank. "
According to El País, a witness said that the sinking of the ship occurred after a "crack in the hull" was heard, and the survivors of the accident assured that no one was wearing life jackets.
"We started to feel as if the boat was going to turn," one survivor explained to local media. She added, “The first two levels were too populated and sank fast."
However, the boat was quickly aided, as it was near the pier and the videos recorded at the time of the sinking - and immediately disseminated through social networks - allowed the authorities to arrive in time.
The El Peñol - Guatapé dam is a fundamental tourist center in the area, where the routes through the reservoir are one of the main attractions, especially this long weekend.
In solidarity with the victims and their families, the Mayor of Guatapé has decreed three days of mourning.