WorldHonduras probes fishing disaster after 27 die

01:30  05 july  2019
01:30  05 july  2019 Source:   msn.com

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More than 50 rescued in poor weather near Cayo Gorda in one of the country’s worst maritime disasters .

At least 27 people died when a fishing boat capsized off the coast of Honduras on Wednesday. The figure was confirmed by the president of the Atlantic Industrial Fishing Association The 27 who drowned were waiting on the boat's deck for a Coast Guard from the Honduran Naval Force to arrive.

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Honduran authorities said Thursday they are investigating the causes of an accident in which at least 27 people died after their fishing boat sank off the Caribbean coast.

The boat sank Wednesday in the remote Mosquitia coastal region after heading out to sea when a seasonal ban on lobster fishing was lifted.

Families began the grim task of identifying the bodies on Thursday. They were brought by boat to a sandbar off the coast where the bodies were being collected.

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+ The Honduran military says a fishing vessel sank during bad weather in the Caribbean off the country’s northern coast, and at least 27 fishermen are The Caribbean commercial fishermen’s association in Honduras says nearby boats were summoned to the scene to pick up the survivors.

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The Directorate of Forensic Medicine said a team of nine experts had been sent to the area to help recover and identify the victims.

Ninety-one people were aboard the boat, the 70-tonne "Wallie," when it set sail from Cabo Gracias a Dios -- on the country's easternmost point bordering Nicaragua.

The "Wallie" sank near Cayo Gorda, a tiny island just northeast of their point of departure. Fifty-five people were rescued. Nine are still missing.

"It is clear that the tragedy happened because the boat was overloaded," said local journalist Jacinto Molina.

The region is one of Honduras' poorest -- accessible from the rest of the country only by sea or plane -- and lobster fishing is an important source of income.

Merchant Marine director Juan Carlos Rivera said authorities have suspended permits for up to three years for boats whose owners bring on too many fishermen.

"The boats only have a capacity for 30 or 40 people but they overload them by double," said Molina.

Some go out to sea with up to 100 people on board. Boat captains on occasion hire up to 50 divers.

Lobster diving is risky and each diver earns up to $1,250 a trip, while each boatman gets around $600.

"It's good income in a country where there is no money," said Molina.

However, many divers suffer debilitating injuries from diving too deep or staying underwater too long to collect lobsters.

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