Catamaran full of tourists sank off southern Spanish coast

by Lorraine Williamson
catamaran split -

CARTAGENA – On Sunday afternoon, the Spanish coastguard had to rescue 33 people, including 6 minors. It was a tourist trip on a catamaran boat that sank a mile off the coast of Cartagena (Murcia). 

Emergency number 112 received a report about the incident at 4.24 pm on Sunday. However, fishing and recreational boats, are said to have started rescuing the 33 people on board the damaged catamaran. The Coast Guard deployed a Red Cross boat and a helicopter to check whether people needed help or were trapped. Fortunately but they didn’t. 

The boat broke in half

However, at least 14 people had to be taken to Santa Lucía University Hospital. They suffered various symptoms including hypothermia, dizziness, and some minor bruising. Others were transferred to the cruise ship terminal of the port of Cartagena, where civil defense officers assisted them. Ambulances and healthcare professionals from the emergency service 061 were also mobilised. As reported by, all passengers have now been released from hospital.

Those on board indicated they first heard a loud crack, then a few seconds later the boat broke in half. 

According to the first hypothesis of the Commission of Inquiry into Maritime Accidents and Incidents, the ship would have had structural defects. Possible causes such as bad sea conditions, bad weather, or that it was a dangerous area for navigation have already been ruled out. Therefore, this suggests “defects in the material that could affect the structure” were at the root of the incident, committee sources told La Verdad de Murcia newspaper. 

The ship, 23 metres long and 10.5 metres wide is currently at a depth of approximately 35 metres. However, there is every indication it will not be necessary to float it again. Although that will ultimately depend on the owner of the catamaran and the research group. Because they may have to study the material from the broken boat. 

Major concerns 

According to La Opinión de Murcia, the mayor of Cartagena, Noelia Arroyo, spoke to those on board, who all praised the speedy response of the boats and emergency services, and the owner of the company that rented out the wrecked catamaran. “She is very concerned and she has told me that she has no idea what happened, as all the required technical inspections were completed.” Arroyo also referred to the testimonials of the passengers: “What they tell us is that they heard noises and creaks and that in a short time the boat sank.” 

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