Recreational boat with 150 aboard sinks near Colombian city

Danny Woods
June 26, 2017

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, who travelled to the scene on Sunday evening, said six people had been killed, revising down an initial death toll of nine given by officials. Some of the survivors complained that the ferry looked overloaded and they had not been given life jackets. Police said three people were dead and 30 missing.

Eyewitness Louisa Murphy told BBC: "We saw things flying off the side of the boat". Rescue operations were immediately undertaken, including deploymnt of firefighters and air force pilots.

Boats are docked at the reservoir where a ferry sank in Guatape, Colombia, Sunday, June 25, 2017.

A rescue operation was under underway in the Guatape reservoir.

Authorities did not immediately say how many people had been rescued or were missing.

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Margarita Moncada of a local disaster response agency, said that 99 people were rescued and another 40 were able to swim to shore.

Dramatic videos circulating on social media show the ferry, called El Almirante, rocking back and forth as people crawled down from a third-floor roof as the ship began sinking.

"We started to hear screams and noise and then people started telling us about a boat that had gone down with a lot of people".

The boat sank Sunday near the popular tourist town of Guatape, roughly 45 km (28 miles) east of Medellin, one of Colombia's biggest cities. "We can only give information with the authorization of the commander". This weekend is a long one - Monday is a national holiday - and the area was packed with revelers, The Associated Press reported.

Laura Baquero, who survived the accident, told television crews that the two lower decks were "too crowded" and the passengers were not wearing lifejackets.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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