At least eight people were killed, including two minors, when a panga (motorboat) carrying a family capsized off the Mexican coast of Guaymas in Sonora state, the state’s department for coordinating civil protection has confirmed.
Juan Gonzalez Alvarado, director of the agency, told local media that the accident occurred on Sunday afternoon in front of an industrial fishing park in an area known as Paraje Viejo, Xinhua news agency reported.
He explained that the small six-person boat was carrying 19 people, which caused it to capsize in a strong wave.
After the accident, his team, along with marine and fire personnel, rescued 11 people and started the search for others.
Seven bodies were found on Sunday and the body of a girl was found on Monday.
According to preliminary investigations by the Ministry of the Navy, the main cause of the incident was human error, including the fact that the boat’s capacity “exceeded the established limit by more than three times.”
“The 20-by-10-feet boat is exclusively used for fishing and not for transporting passengers, since it does not have seats or life jackets,” according to an information card issued by the Sonora civil protection agency on Sunday night.
In addition, it pointed out that “maritime safety was ignored, since it did not have radio communication and its crew members did not alert authorities before the trip”.