Published On: Thu, Apr 21st, 2016

Campeche waterspout death toll now at three; number of fishermen still missing is disputed

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CIUDAD DEL CARMEN, CAMPECHE — The death toll has risen to three in a tornado-like waterspout with wind gusts of 74 kilometers per hour that caused at least 11 fishing boats to sink in the Gulf of Mexico near Ciudad del Carmen.

Three fishermen remained missing early Thursday April 21, while 25 were rescued by boats from the Mexican Navy and Pemex oil company, according to officials.

However, according to people awaiting the arrival of their relatives in the coastal towns of Atasta Peninsula, including San Antonio Cardenas, Emiliano Zapata and Nuevo Progreso, there are at least 20 fishermen still missing. There were at least 15 boats that set sail to fish at 6 a.m. April 19. All the boats foundered.


Families of mssing fishermen dispute numbers provided by authorities. (PHOTO:

Families of mssing fishermen dispute numbers provided by authorities. (PHOTO:

If each boat bore three crew members, the total number of people that took to the high seas is 45, and the authorities have only provided information about 31 people.

At noon on Tuesday, a squall surprised the fishermen who daily set out for shrimp from  “7 Barbas” in the Terminal Lagoon, facing Ciudad del Carmen. Winds of up to 74 kilometers per hour sank all the vessels.

The Attorney General of Campeche confirmed that authorities had located the bodies of Jose de la Cruz Hernandez, Abel Angulo Quintana and Jose Manuel Perez Acosta, and are still searching for three other missing fishermen.

The data match those provided by the Ministry of Civil Protection, which added that 25 fishermen had been rescued and three more are still missing.

On Tuesday, the captain of Puerto El Carmen, Ildefonso Carrillo Mora, confirmed that at least 15 boats went to sea from Atasta Peninsula, and the weather report did not anticipate the probability of a squall or tornado lihe one that hit that day to the detriment of more than 30 coastal fishermen.

Helicopters and aircraft of the Navy of Mexico and Pemex are involved in the search for 20 fishermen who remain missing. The operation will continue in the coming days.

Waterspout off Ciudad del Carmen Tuesday April 19. (PHOTO:

Waterspout off Ciudad del Carmen Tuesday April 19. (PHOTO:




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