Recreational boat with 150 aboard sinks near Colombian city

Margarita Moncada of a local disaster response agency, said that 99 people were rescued and another 40 were able to swim to shore.

The military wing also posted pictures of helicopters they said were heading "to Guatape in support of emergency of sinking of boat with around 150 people".

Boat sunk in Penol reservoir, #Columbia.

"It sank in a matter of four minutes", he said.

The rescue operation includes the Interior Ministry, air force, army and police.

It's unclear what caused the boat to sink but survivors told local media that it appeared to be overloaded and none of the passengers on board were wearing life vests.

Dramatic videos circulating on social media show a multi-story ferry rocking back and forth as people crawled down from a third-floor roof as the ship began sinking.

The Antioquia regional government said on Twitter that 24 people caught in the wreck were being treated in hospital.

"What we have seen in the videos is that the boat was very close to the port. and we do not know whether it was a mechanical failure, an overloading or something to do with the currents that caused it to sink".

He said rescuers were having difficulty reaching the reservoir by road due to heavy traffic on the major Medellin-Bogota highway.

A BOAT carrying 150 tourists on a reservoir in Colombia has gone down during a long holiday weekend in the country.

The nearby town of Medellin's Mayor said firefighters and scuba divers had been scrambled to aid efforts.

  • Leroy Wright