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Death toll rises to 13 in Amazon River ship sinking. Recalls similar tragedy in 1981

Rescue and search craft look for the missing from the Anna Karoline III

PortandTerminal.com, March 2, 2020

A river passenger ship ANNA KAROLINE III with some 60 passengers on board sank early in the morning Feb 29 in the Amazon River near Boca do Jari, while en route upstream from Macapa to Santarem, Brazil. 

BOCA DO JARI, BRAZIL – The Amapá regional government in Brazil has reported that the number of people who died in the sinking of a ship two days ago on the Amazon River has risen to 13.

READ: Passenger ship sinks in the Amazon River. Dead and missing. – FIRST VIDEOS

The medium-sized vessel was going from Santana (AP) to Santarém (PA) between Friday and Saturday but capsized during a storm. At least 46 people were rescued alive. The search for the missing continues this morning (March 2). Two divers have joined the search efforts.

It is believed that there were at least 60 people on board, including crew and passengers. The information, however, has not been confirmed by the state government. If that is the case, that would leave one person unaccounted for.

According to two people who survived and preferred not to be identified, the vessel was already taking on water when it set out. One passenger reportedly questioned the fact that water was entering over the deck, asking if it was normal, and was told by one of the dispatchers that “he was going to find out”.

Photo of ANNA KAROLINE III ship hold loaded with cargo
Photo of ANNA KAROLINE III hold.

Passengers on board also expressed concerns that the ship was overloaded, but were told by one of the crew that it was normal for the ship to sail in those conditions and that as long the water that ran down the deck did not penetrate into the basement, there was no risk.

An investigation was launched to determine the causes, circumstances and responsibilities of the accident.

Black and white photo of an overcrowded passenger ship on the Amazon River.
In 1981 the Nova Amapá capsized killing 230 of its 600 passengers aboard.

For many in Brazil, this latest sinking on the Amazon River brings back difficult memories of the Novo Amapá tragedy in 1981. In that incident, a passenger ship capsized on the Amazon River killing 230 of the 600 passengers aboard the overcrowded vessel.

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