A fishing vessel sank during bad weather Wednesday in the Caribbean off Honduras's northern coast.
The boat had 91 people on board when it set sail from Cabo Gracias a Dios - on the country's easternmost point bordering Nicaragua - after a seasonal ban on lobster fishing was lifted. The cause of the disaster was not immediately clear. At least 27 fishermen were known dead. 55 others had been rescued and nine people remained missing. The bodies and the survivors would be taken to Puerto Lempira, the main city in eastern Honduras. The vessel Capt. Waly set out in weather not appropriate for fishing and was lost at least 40 nautical miles offshore. The sinking occurred near Cayo Gorda, an area northeast of the easternmost point of the Honduran coast. Nearby boats were summoned to the scene to pick up the survivors.
Authorities said another fishing vessel with 49 men aboard also sank or capsized in the same area earlier, but all aboard were rescued. It was one of the country’s worst-ever accidents at sea. Various boats have gathered off the Honduran coast for lobster-fishing season, which began this month and runs through February. Honduras lobster exports generated $46 million in 2018, according to official data, and were sent mostly to the United States.