Tourist boat sinks in Colombia; 3 dead, 30 missing

Elias Hubbard
June 26, 2017

A boat carrying as many as 150 tourists capsized in a reservoir near Medellin, Colombia on Sunday, officials from the air force said. It remains unclear what caused the boat to sink.

Search teams set up a rescue center on the shore of the Guatape reservoir and asked anyone looking for loved ones to report to the area.

(AP Photo/Luis Benavides). Youths who survived the capsizing of a ferry wait for more information about their missing friends and relatives, at a reservoir in Guatape, Colombia, Sunday, June 25, 2017. As water flooded on board, pressure built and people were sucked under by the sinking ship.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos told the media that 122 people were rescued or found their way to the shore, while six people were confirmed dead and another 31 were still missing. "About five minutes into their journey - so really just off the coast of the town itself - the boat began to sink and then it broke into two".

It is not yet clear whether there have been any casualties or where the tourists were from, but videos on social media suggest that a recreational ferry has sunk in the reservoir. Complicating the search, there wasn't even a passenger list.

Some people who witnessed the tragedy from the nearby shore said the boat appeared to be overloaded but Santos said it was sailing well below capacity.

Officials were interviewing the captain and investigating allegations by some passengers that they did not have life-jackets, Vice Transport Minister Alejandro Maya told journalists at the scene.

The reservoir surrounding the soaring rocky outcrop of El Penol is a popular weekend destination a little more than an hour from Medellin.

The town fills with tourists on long weekends like this one, since Monday is a holiday in Colombia.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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