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Two die after boat turns-turtle during 12 km trip in Azores

Two men died on Sunday after a 12 km boat trip between two islands in the Azores went tragically wrong.

An inquiry is now underway to determine the causes of the accident which saw the 5.8 metre fibreglass “Cristal” turn-turtle half way through its journey between Calheta, on Ilha de São Jorge, and Ilha do Pico.

On board were five friends, all “returning home after a party”, explains Correio da Manhã.

It is possible that the boat started taking on water due to the weight of its passengers, though it is still too early to confirm this, says the paper.

All that is known for certain is that the men were used to this journey and conditions at sea were not an issue.

If it hadn’t been for the quick response of local tourist boat operator Márcio Avelar however the death-toll could have been higher.

“When I got there, the boat was upside down. One man was clinging to the keel, another to a buoy and the third was in serious difficulties holding onto a rope,” he told CM.

The men were all aged between 50 and 60 and apparently made the trip between the two islands on a regular basis.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com