Party Boat Filled With Tourists Capsizes Near Medellin, Colombia

Elias Hubbard
June 26, 2017

At least nine people were killed after a tourist boat carrying about 150 people capsized in a reservoir in northwest Colombia between the towns Guatape and El Peñol.

Rescuers including firefighters from nearby cities and air force pilots were searching for survivors at the El Penol reservoir. "There are 25 well-equipped rescue experts working", said the agency's director, Carlos Iván Márquez Pérez. Police said three people were dead and 30 missing. It also showed the people attempting to crawl down from the fourth-floor roof when the ferry began sinking in the water.

The passengers who were rescued said that the boat was most likely overcrowded and that many people were not wearing life vests.

An even deadlier incident was avoided, as recreational boats and jet skis rushed to the scene to pull people from the party boat as it went down.

"Those on the first and second floors sank immediately", a female survivor who wasn't identified by name told Teleantioquia.

"It sank in a matter of four minutes", he said. "The boat was sinking and all we could do was scream and call for help", according to the Associated Press reports.

The official said rescued people were being sent to the local hospital in Guatape.

But later Sunday President Juan Manuel Santos arrived to Guatape and said 122 people were either rescued or found their way to shore.

Colombian news outlet Blu Radio says the El Almirante had been involved in a similar accident three months ago, when it sank while tied up at the wharf with no passengers on board.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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