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Three die after tourist vessel sinks off Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres, Q.R. — Three people died by drowning Tuesday after their Isla Mujeres boat took on water and sank. The accident happened around 6:00 p.m. when an island tourist vessel with 15 on board began to take on water.

A rescue request at Punta Sur Isla Mujeres was made to the C5 command center at 6:16 p.m. after vessel Rosa Coral, with 15 on board (including crew), experienced engine failure. Their stalled boat quickly began to take on water from waves generated by the high winds.

Unable to head toward shore, the boat began to sink. All 15 aboard the tourist vessel ended up in the sea. Twelve of those were rescued either by nearby private vessels who witnessed the incident or by swimming to the nearby cliff area. However, after rescue efforts, three remained missing.

Preliminary reports say that two adults and one child under the age of five were missing. The body of the child and one of the adults were recovered by personnel of the navy around 7:00 p.m. The child was pulled from the sea. The adult body, that of a 45-year-old, was located on the shore by the reef area of Punta Sur. Both were from the state of Yucatan.

Merced Ortiz Maya, director of Civil Protection for Isla Mujeres confirmed the recovery of the two bodies and said the boat was returning to Isla Mujeres when the accident happened. The body of the second adult, a man, is still unaccounted for. Search efforts by the Naval Station continue.