(CMR) 27 persons died after a lobster-fishing boat capsized off the Atlantic coast of Honduras during poor weather conditions, an armed forces spokesman said on Wednesday, in one of the country’s worst-ever accidents at sea.
The 70-tonne boat was packed with fisherman after the government lifted a seasonal ban on fishing for lobster. The captain of the boat sent out an SOS signal but died shortly after, local media report. The incident about 80 miles northeast of Cayo Gorda.
The captain of the boat named Wallie was Austin Elvis Haylock Almendarez (Elvis Haylock). He also perished along with the others on board. The incident happened around 4:30 pm.
Jose Meza, a spokesman for the armed forces, told AFP news agency that the bodies and survivors would be taken to the nearby city of Puerto Lempira.
He said that shortly before the accident on Wednesday another boat – which had also been overcrowded – had sunk in the same area. All 49 people were rescued in that case and no deaths were reported.
Various boats have gathered off the Honduran coast for lobster-fishing season, which began this month and runs through February.
Honduras lobster exports generated $46 million in 2018, according to official data, and were sent mostly to the United States.
It is not clear what caused the accident and an investigation has been launched