In less than a week, I have noted 3 ships capsizing, 1 in Baja, MX, July 4th.....another in Jayapura, Papua and the most recent in Russia in the Volga River.

Across the globe we hear more and more stories of fisherman who can't bring their boats out to do their work.  The seas are angry and unpredictable.  Here''s another story of a fishing boat carrying 27 tourists with 16 Mexican crew members struggling in the sea when the ship capsized.

California residents rescued in fatal boat accident in Mexico

Fishing boat sinks in Baja

One person was reported dead and seven others missing Monday afternoon after a fishing boat carrying 27 U.S. tourists and 16 Mexican crew members capsized in rough seas in the Sea of Cortez, officials said.

The 27 tourists, most of them from California, were aboard the charter vessel Erick when a sudden storm struck the area about 2:30 a.m., hurling people into the ocean in the vicinity of San Luis Island, about 60 miles south of the Baja California port of San Felipe, the Mexican Navy said in a statement. The body water in which the ship capsized is also known as the Gulf of California.

View Capsized vessel in a larger map

"The weather was calm, and then a strong wind came,"  Dora Winkler, a spokeswoman with the Port of San Felipe, told the Los Angeles Times.

Some of the first people rescued -- two tourists and the boat's cook -- were plucked from the water by a Mexican fishing boat, according to Winkler.

All of the 16 Mexican crew members were rescued, she said. The tourist who died was only identified as an adult male. Initial reports said six people were missing; officials later raised the number to seven.

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter from San Diego was assisting the Mexican navy as rescue crews scoured the area for survivors, said Coast Guard Petty Officer Pamela Boehland.

She said the Coast Guard was told by the Mexican Navy that most of the passengers were from Northern California and that one was from Port Angeles, Wash. The search was launched after one of the victims swam to shore and alerted Mexican officials, Boehland said.

"He swam to shore and actually walked to the nearest location," Boehland said, adding that she was unsure whether it was a town or village.

Mexican officials said all of the survivors were wearing life jackets. They were taken to local hospitals and appeared to be in good condition, the Mexican Navy said.

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Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on May 8, 2015 at 3:39am

Girl dies of hypothermia after yacht sinks

According to The Guardian newspaper, a six-year-old French girl died from hypothermia on Thursday after a yacht she and her family were on capsized during the night off the mid-Atlantic Azores islands. 

“The little girl spent seven and a half hours in water that was 21 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit) before she and her father were recovered by a Spanish hospital ship," a Portuguese navy spokesman Commander Paulo Vicente told AFP.

The girl’s mother and nine-year-old brother had managed to climb into a liferaft after their vessel capsized, and were rescued during the night. The girl and her father were wearing life jackets which kept them afloat all night. Rescue came the next morning when a Portuguese air force plane spotted them in the water.

The Guardian reported that the family’s boat sank about 550 nautical miles (1,000 kilometres) to the southwest of the Portuguese islands. Weather conditions were very rough and although they were starting to improve on Thursday, some waves were still five metres (16 feet) high.

Eight people sailing on three other boats have been rescued in the area since Wednesday, the Portuguese navy said.
Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on May 6, 2015 at 6:33pm

Migrant boat sinks, dozens feared dead, report says

London (CNN)Dozens of migrants are feared to have drowned Sunday after falling from a boat into the Mediterranean Sea, the aid organization Save the Children said Tuesday.

The report is one of many describing migrants dying at sea. Thousands of people are leaving North Africa every month aboard crowded vessels to escape desperate conditions and reach European shores.

Rescue vessel was approaching

Sunday's deaths happened as a rescue vessel approached the migrants, Save the Children said, citing interviews it conducted with survivors after they arrived at the port of Catania, on the Italian island of Sicily. The aid organization said it feared that 40 people had died.

"The commercial ship Zeran picked up two separate dinghies since Sunday, both of which set off from Libya," Save the Children said in a statement.

"One had more than 100 people, all survivors," the statement said. "The other had approximately 137 people on board. They have all been brought to Catania port in Sicily this morning and are disembarking right now. They are from Ghana, Gambia, Senegal and Ivory Coast (so far). We believe there are at least 30 minors (under 18s) so far but all the arrivals still need to be interviewed. There are at least 2 younger children (5-7 years old)."

Dozens reportedly fell into the sea

The statement said that Save the Children's Giovanna di Benedetto had interviewed some of the men from the second dinghy.

Three of those men reported that "dozens of people had fallen into the sea when they saw the commercial boat approach and they had drowned as they couldn't swim. Five dead bodies have been brought to Catania," Save the Children said.

The aid organization said it was not yet clear whether the bodies were those of people who drowned or whether they were already dead on the dinghy.

Italian coast guard recovers 10 bodies

The Italian coast guard said it couldn't confirm the charity's report, though it said 10 bodies were recovered Sunday in three separate rescue operations in the Mediterranean. It said six operations were currently going on.

The coast guard said that, between Friday and Tuesday, 8,300 migrants had been saved.

As of mid-April, more than 1,700 people had died or gone missing this year in the sea that touches Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, according to the U.N. refugee agency.

But tens of thousands more migrants have reached Europe by crossing the Mediterranean. Some 36,390 people managed to reach Italy, Greece and Malta in the first few months of 2015, an agency spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said last month.

Italy's coast guard said that more than 3,400 migrants were saved in 16 operations off Libya's coast on Saturday alone.

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on May 4, 2015 at 4:29am

limk to:

Costa Rica scare as ship carrying chemicals sinks

  • MAY 3, 2015, 9:09 PM
  • A Costa Rican coast guard boat monitors the beach in Puntarenas, 95 km north of San Jose, on May 3, 2015, after authorities declared an emergency after a ship carrying 180 tons of ammonium nitrate sank off the country's Pacific coast© AFP Ezequiel BecerraA Costa Rican coast guard boat monitors the beach in Puntarenas, 95 km north of San Jose, on May 3, 2015, after authorities declared an emergency after a ship carrying 180 tons of ammonium nitrate sank off the country's Pacific coast

    San José (AFP) - Costa Rican authorities declared an emergency after a ship carrying 180 tons of ammonium nitrate sunk off the country's Pacific coast.

    The National Emergency Commission (CNE) urged people to avoid swimming at beaches and suspend fishing in the region off the port of Puntarenas, 90 kilometers (55 miles) west of the capital.

    The CNE said the accident occurred on Saturday when the boat sank in heavy seas. Two crew members were rescued without incident, the CNE said.

    Ammonium nitrate is often used in the manufacture of fertilizers and explosives, and can be dangerous to health in cases of direct contact with the chemical.

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on May 3, 2015 at 1:55am

Migrants drown in boat capsize off Egypt, dozens saved off Libya

A boat carrying migrants trying to reach Europe has capsized in the Mediterranean near the coast of Egypt, killing three people. Meanwhile, more than 400 others have been rescued from vessels off Libya.

Three people drowned and 31 were rescued after a trawler bound for Europe capsized near the Egyptian city of Idku on Saturday, local media reported.

The passengers, believed to be from Syria, Eritrea, Sudan and Egypt, were later arrested by coastguards.

In a separate incident on Saturday, a French navy patrol ship pulled 217 people from three small boats that had run into difficulty in waters off Libya. Maritime police said in a statement that two suspected people smugglers had been arrested and handed over to Italian authorities, along with the rescued migrants.

It was the first rescue operation by France since a decision by European leaders last week to boost patrols in the Mediterranean in a bid to prevent migrant drownings.

Meanwhile, Italy's Coast Guard reported helping a group of some 200 people aboard rubber dinghies spotted drifting south of Sicily on Friday. The migrants from sub-Saharan Africa were taken to the Italian island of Lampedusa on Saturday morning.

Dangerous trip

Scores of people fleeing violence and poverty in the Middle East and Africa have sought to cross the Mediterranean Sea by boat in the hope of reaching European shores. Many travel in crowded unseaworthy vessels, having paid steep fees to people smugglers to make the perilous journey.

There was an outcry last month when a migrant boat en route to Europe capsized off the coast of Libya, killing more than 700 people. Following the disaster, EU leaders agreed to triple funding for the bloc's Triton border protection mission, as well as to send more ships to the region to help in search and rescue operations.

France, Britain and Germany were among the countries that pledged to contribute patrol boats to prevent further loss of life. Two ships from the German navy were dispatched on Friday.

Comment by KM on April 28, 2015 at 10:50pm

More than 150 passengers rescued from burning ferry in the Mediterranean en route from Mallorca to Spanish mainland 

  • The Sorrento began billowing smoke as it travelled across Mediterranean 
  • Passengers and crew were forced to evacuate the ship on lifeboats 
  • All 150 on board were safely rescued after operation by emergency services 

More than 150 passengers had to be rescued from a burning ferry that was crossing Mediterranean en route from Mallorca to the Spanish mainland.

Spanish emergency services managed to safely evacuate the passengers from the vessel, which was travelling to the port of Valencia, government and port authorities confirmed.

It came after the 'Sorrento' ferry, belonging to the Italian company Atlantica di Navigazione although operated by Trasmediterranea-Acciona sent out distress signals.

The Sorrento ferry ablaze in the Mediterranean after it caught fire while travelling to Valencia from the island of Mallorca 

The Sorrento ferry ablaze in the Mediterranean after it caught fire while travelling to Valencia from the island of Mallorca 

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on April 26, 2015 at 6:15pm

Coast Guard: Search goes on for 5 lost after boats capsize

Well-wishers congratulate regatta participant Robert Luiten of Mobile, Ala., in blue shirt, on word that his son, Leonard Luiten, was found several hours after their boat capsized in a storm Saturday, April 25, 2015, in Dauphin Island, Ala. The Coast Guard says five people are missing after several sailboats participating in a regatta capsized during a storm in Mobile Bay Saturday. (AP Photo/Mike Kittrell, congratulate regatta participant Robert Luiten of Mobile, Ala., in blue shirt, on word that his son, Leonard Luiten, was found several hours after their boat capsized in a storm Saturday, April 25, 2015, in Dauphin Island, Ala. The Coast Guard says five people are missing after several sailboats participating in a regatta capsized during a storm in Mobile Bay Saturday. (AP Photo/Mike Kittrell, The Associated Press

DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (AP) — Coast Guard crews are searching for five people missing in the water after a powerful storm capsized several sailboats participating in a regatta near Mobile Bay, Alabama.

Coast Guard spokesman Seth Johnson says searchers have covered 1,150 square miles on Sunday using boats and three airplanes to find survivors.

Johnson says the Coast Guard will conduct an investigation into the weather conditions and the decision to go ahead with Saturday's race.

Family members anxious for updates have gathered near a Coast Guard station.

More than 100 sailboats and as many as 200 people were participating in the Dauphin Island regatta. The storm rolled through the area about 4 p.m. Saturday.

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on April 20, 2015 at 6:16am

Hundreds Of Migrants Feared Dead In Capsized Boat Off North Africa

APRIL 19, 2015 8:04 AM ET
Personnel at work in the operations room of the Italian Coast Guard in Rome, Italy on Sunday during the coordination of relief efforts after a ship carrying hundreds of migrants capsizes off Libyan coast occurred in the Strait of Sicily.

Personnel at work in the operations room of the Italian Coast Guard in Rome, Italy on Sunday during the coordination of relief efforts after a ship carrying hundreds of migrants capsizes off Libyan coast occurred in the Strait of Sicily.

Hundreds of would-be migrants from North Africa who were trying to reach Europe are missing and feared drowned after their boat capsized about 120 miles south of the Italian island of Lampedusa. Officials say it could be the largest-ever such tragedy on the Mediterranean.

Officials engaged in a major air-and-sea rescue in the Mediterranean say that so far 28 people have been rescued along with the recovery of 24 bodies. As many as 700 are still missing after the overcrowded fishing boat capsized and sank overnight. Although it is not uncommon for such migrant boats to come to grief in the Mediterranean, the sheer loss of life in the latest incident appears to be particularly large.

Adrian Edwards, a spokesman from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva, tells NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday that some 20 ships from Italy and Malta, as well as several helicopters were engaged in the search.

"There are many, many bodies in the water.," Edwards says.

"We are hoping there are survivors among them," he tells Weekend Edition. "But, it's really a matter of very great concern," adding that if the numbers of dead reported are confirmed, "we are looking at the single largest tragedy so far on the Mediterranean."

The Times of Malta reports that the migrants went overboard when they rushed to one side of the boat to alert a passing ship. A Maltese patrol boat was helping in the rescue effort and the island's prime minister, Joseph Muscat, said: "They are literally trying to find people alive among the dead floating in the water."

The disaster comes only a week after 400 others were reported dead in a similar capsize near Lampedusa.

The Associated Press notes: "The capsizing comes amid a wave of migrants trying to leave Libya for Italian shores. So far, at least 900 have died trying this year."

For many people fleeing North Africa, including the ongoing fighting in Libya, the island of Lampedusa represents the closest outpost of European Union territory from which they hope to move onward and settle elsewhere in the EU.

Reuters writes: "The new deaths fueled calls for a stronger response from Europe to the increasingly deadly migrant crisis playing out in the Mediterranean. International aid groups and Italian authorities have [criticized] Europe's so-called "Triton" border protection operation, which recently replaced a more comprehensive Italian search-and-rescue mission.

"A tragedy is unfolding in the Mediterranean, and if the EU and the world continue to close their eyes, it will be judged in the harshest terms as it was judged in the past when it closed its eyes to genocides when the comfortable did nothing," Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was quoted by Reuters as saying.

In February, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres reiterated a call for the European Union to expand operation "Triton."

Updated at 2:45 p.m. EDT. EU To Discuss Situation on Monday:

Reuters quotes EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini as saying the foreign ministers of the EU would discuss the issue at a meeting Monday in Luxembourg.

Update at 8:30 EDT. Even More May Have Been Aboard; U.N. Responds

A survivor told Italian prosecutors that more migrants than previously estimated may have been on board the ship, the AP reports.

The wire service says the survivor indicated the ship contained 950 people, "including hundreds who were locked in the hold by smugglers," but that this account has not been confirmed.

Meanwhile, the U.N. Secretary-General's office issued a statement saying Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is "shocked and deeply saddened" by reports of the event.

"The international response to this must be comprehensive and collective," the Secretary-General's spokesman writes. "The challenge concerns not only improved rescue at sea and access to protection. It is how to ensure the right to asylum of the growing number of people worldwide fleeing war who need refuge and safe haven."

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on April 15, 2015 at 6:20am

Up to 400 migrants died in boat capsize off Libya: survivors

Rome (AFP) - Up to 400 illegal migrants died after their vessel capsized off the Libyan coast on Sunday, said survivors who were brought to Italy, where tension is mounting over a surge in boat arrivals from North Africa.

The Italian coastguard on Monday said they had managed to rescue 144 of the people on the sunken vessel, while nine bodies were also recovered.

The International Organization for Migration and the charity Save the Children said between 144 and 150 survivors arrived at Reggio Calabria, on Italy's southern tip, on Tuesday morning.

"There were 400 victims in this shipwreck, which occurred 24 hours after (their vessel) left the Libyan coast," Save the Children said in a statement, citing survivors.

"There were several young males, probably minors, among the victims" and also children among those rescued, the international NGO said.

IOM spokesman in Italy Flavio Di Giacomo told AFP several of the survivors had told his organisation there were between 500 and 550 people on board when the ship sank.

"We are continuing to investigate in order to understand how the shipwreck happened," Di Giacomo said.

Initial investigations indicate the boat may have capsized after passengers started moving when they saw the Italian rescue team.

The latest tragedy came as Italian authorities said around 8,500 migrants had been rescued at sea between Friday and Monday, reigniting a debate in Italy about whether the country has a duty to house all new arrivals.

Recent good weather in the Mediterranean has prompted a spike in the number of migrants attempting to reach Italy aboard boats.

An increasingly violent and chaotic situation in Libya, a key jumping off point for migrants, has also helped prompt the hike in asylum seekers trying to make it to Europe.

- Row over migrant beds -

Italian authorities say more than 15,000 migrants have arrived so far in 2015. There were 15,000 in April alone last year and an average of 25,000 each month between June and September.

Italy's interior ministry has ordered regional prefects to find emergency housing for 6,500 migrants -- a move condemned by the opposition, which argues the policy of rescuing immigrants encourages others to attempt the risky sea journey.

Matteo Salvini, head of the anti-immigrant Northern League, on Tuesday urged local officials not to cooperate.

"I ask the League's governors, mayors, assessors and councillors to say no, with every means, to every new arrival. The League is ready to occupy every hotel, hostel, school or barracks intended for the alleged refugees," Salvini said on Facebook.

With summer approaching -- and more than 500,000 people waiting to set out from Libya for Europe according to EU border agency Frontex -- aid groups are warning Rome is not prepared to deal with the next wave of arrivals.

Greece said Tuesday it was planning to set up reception centres on the mainland to deal with an influx of migrants arriving on its islands.

The decision at an emergency cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras came after more than 700 migrants and refugees, mainly Syrians and Africans, arrived in Greece between Friday and Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Frontex on Tuesday said human traffickers had fired shots into the air to recover a vessel that had been used to transport migrants across the Mediterranean.

The incident happened on Monday when an Icelandic coastguard vessel was rescuing 250 people from a wooden boat some 60 nautical miles off Libya.

It was the second such incident this year after the Italian coastguard was confronted by armed traffickers in February, who ordered a boat be handed over once the rescue operation was complete.

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on April 10, 2015 at 4:46am

Twenty-one would-be migrants have died and 17 are feared drowned after their boat capsized after hitting poor weather off the north of Haiti.

At least 21 people have died and 17 others are missing in a suspected boat capsizing off Haiti's northern coast.

The group was among 50 believed to be aboard a boat heading to the nearby Turks and Caicos Islands.

Survivors have told police the boat encountered bad weather and tried to return to Haiti when it hit something, according to Jean Henri Petit, an official with Haiti's Civil Protection Department.

The bodies began to wash ashore on Thursday morning in the coastal town of Le Borgne, about 160km north of Port-au-Prince, police inspector Jean Mesamours said.

Families of 10 of the victims have picked up the bodies, while the other 11 dead have been buried in a mass grave because no one has claimed them, Petit says.

The Turks and Caicos Islands are a popular destination for Haitian migrants despite authorities warning them the voyage is perilous.

Comment by Starr DiGiacomo on April 3, 2015 at 3:41am

56 Dead After Russian Trawler Sinks

Russian Emergencies Ministry ship is seen through the window of a helicopter during a rescue operation after a Russian trawler Dalniy Vostok sank off the coast of Kamchatka, off the Sea of Okhotsk in Russia in this April 2, 2015 photo provided by Russia's
Russian Emergencies Ministry ship is seen through the window of a helicopter during a rescue operation after a Russian trawler Dalniy Vostok sank off the coast of Kamchatka, off the Sea of Okhotsk in Russia in this April 2, 2015 photo provided by Russia's
VOA News

At least 56 people are dead after a Russian trawler sank in the Sea of Okhotsk in Russia's far east Wednesday.

Emergency officials said 63 of 132 of the crew members on aboard the ship were rescued after the Dalniy Vostok sank in icy waters near Russia's Kamchatka peninsula. Thirteen people are still missing.

Officials say the ship sank in a mere 15 minutes, with the water temperature near the freezing mark.

The most seriously injured were being airlifted to the city of Magadan, some 250 kilometers to the north.

Sea of Ohotsk, RussiaSea of Ohotsk, Russia

At least 14 local fishing vessels are helping with the search and rescue mission.

The trawler was carrying 78 Russians and 54 foreign nationals from Myanmar, Ukraine, Lithuania and Vanuatu.

The cause of the accident is still not known, although investigators say the ship may have hit an object in the water. A local official told Reuters news agency that the crew may have violated safety rules by overloading it, affecting its balance.

History of transportation disasters 

Russia has a long history of road, air and sea disasters, many caused by negligence or violation of safety regulations.

"At this time we do not know what might have caused the tragedy,'' Viktor Klepikov, coordinating captain of the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky maritime rescue coordination centre conducting the search, told Reuters by telephone.

Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov said more than 10 possible causes were being considered by investigators.

But the acting governor of Sakhalin island, Oleg Kozhemyako, told LifeNews television: "Given the fact that the tragedy occurred quickly and unexpectedly, and the ship was registered and met all technical requirements, I think there was a violation of rules when it comes to overload and balancing of the vessel.''

Russia's TASS news agency quoted Sergei Khabarov, deputy head of the Kamchatka region, as saying the cargo storage capacity may have been exceeded.

President Vladimir Putin sent his condolences and ordered all necessary measures to help the survivors, some of whom were suffering from hypothermia.

Poor safety record 

The home port of the trawler, which was owned by Magellan LLC, was Nevelsk in Russia's Sakhalin region.

It was one of Russia's worst maritime disasters in decades.  In 2011, an ageing, overcrowded tourist boat sank in Russia's Volga River, killing 122 people.

More than 50 died when a drilling rig with 67 crew on board capsized and sank off Sakhalin in December 2011 while being towed through a winter storm.

In August 2000, during his first term as president, Putin faced criticism for not acting quickly over the sinking of a nuclear-powered submarine on which all 118 people aboard died.

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