Tourist boat sinks off Cancun; at least 4 dead and several missing

At least four people were dead and others missing after a boat ferrying more than a dozen people sank off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula near Cancun, according to reports.

The Goddess of the Sea — or La Diosa del Mar — was journeying from the resort island of Isla Mujeres to nearby Puerto Juárez when the incident occurred on Monday shortly after 6 p.m. Officials told ABC News the vessel caught a strong sea swell and started taking on water in the moments before it went down.

A total of 19 people — 16 tourists and three crew members — were aboard at the time. Two adult males, one adult female and one minor have been confirmed dead, while another seven people remained missing. Search efforts, which have been underway since last night, continued into Tuesday, with volunteers joining members of the Mexican Navy, the Mexican Red Cross and local police and fire departments in scouring the waters for survivors.

Officials said eight people were rescued but did not provide details about their conditions.

None of the passengers has been identified.

The captain, Ramón Guadalupe, was arrested Monday on charges of negligence in connection with the sinking, according to Rivera News. He’s accused of allowing far too many people onto the boat.

The 28-foot vessel, reportedly owned by a company located in Puerto Juárez, had a capacity of just six people, which was exceeded threefold.

An investigation into the matter is ongoing.