Vessel that sank in Madre de Deus was not authorized to carry passengers

The vessel that sank, leaving six people dead and at least two missing during a crossing between Maria Guarda Island and Madre de Deus, inside the Baía de Todos-os-Santos, was carrying out irregular passenger transport.

The information was confirmed by the Brazilian Navy, during a press conference at the Bahia Port Authority (CPBA), in Salvador, this Monday morning (22).

According to Sea and War captain Wellington Lemos Gagno, the vessel, called “Gostosão FF”, was registered in the “saveiro” class, for “employment exclusively in sports and recreational activities and in no way could it be used for commercial purposes , i.e. being charged to passengers, some type of value. This is not regular,” he said.

The Navy also says it is investigating whether the water vehicle exceeded its maximum capacity, which is 10 passengers plus one crew member. However, the captain said during the interview that this is “a difficult number to be precise at the moment, as witnesses have already reported 25, and another 19 occupants, and only after the investigation has concluded will it be possible to find out how many people were actually on board” .

The teams remain committed to searching for survivors with work being carried out by divers, the Fire Department, the air group of the Bahia Military Police (GRAER) and the Brazilian Navy. Four victims were taken to hospitals in the capital of Bahia and two have already been discharged. Among the missing are a man and a child.

Navy press conference on vessel that sank in Madre de Deus / Camila Tíssia

In addition to overcrowding, another suspicion is that a fight inside the boat also contributed to the imbalance and accident on the vessel.

The Navy also states that the military was called at around 10pm at night to respond to the sinking of the vessel that was crossing between Maria Guarda Island and the city of Madre de Deus. A journey that lasts about 10 minutes, long enough for the tragedy to happen. Crossing is only permitted until 7:30 p.m.

The vessel is close to the terminal, in Madre de Deus, undergoing forensic examination, belongings were also located and the investigation could be completed in 90 days, but with the seriousness of the case, the result could be released sooner.

Regarding the driver and owner of the vessel, who are the same person, he fled, but has already been identified by the Civil Police and must give a statement.

Sinking of a vessel in Bahia left 6 dead / Romildo de Jesus/Ato Press/Estadão Conteúdo

Accidents in Baía de Todos-os-Santos

Another piece of information confirmed at the press conference was the accidents already recorded in the region in the last 10 years. Considered the largest bay in Brazil, Baía de Todos-os-Santos had 238 incidents in the area, with 47 deaths. Among them, the tragedy involving the vessel “Cavalo Marinho”, which ended with 19 deaths and one missing person to date. This accident happened in August 2017.

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