Sonora Civil Protection received the first report of the accident at 3 p.m. on Sunday, the agency said. Scene of Sunday's boating accident. Facebook / Protección Civil Sonora

Quinceañera turns tragic when 8 drown during boat excursion

A one-year-old baby was among those who drowned

A birthday celebration became a tragic occasion in Sonora on Sunday when an overcrowded boat capsized and eight people drowned, including at least two children.

Nineteen people boarded a small fishboat with capacity for six passengers in Guaymas, 130 kilometers south of Hermosillo.

The 6-meter-long, 3-meter-wide panga departed without informing authorities and without radio communication, lifejackets or sufficient seating on board. It was taken without permission by the son of the owner, the newspaper El Universal reported.

The boat tipped over near the San Vicente Arch, a rock formation and tourist attraction southeast of the city.

Eight people were killed, including a one-year-old baby and another child. Eleven people were rescued.

The group appears to have been a family from the nearby city of Empalme celebrating a quinceañera, a coming of age ceremony common in Mexico for girls’ 15th birthday parties.

Authorities said human error and irresponsible behavior had caused the accident. Civil Protection agents worked alongside navy marines and firefighters in the rescue effort which included two search and rescue boats and a helicopter.

With reports from El Universal

Reader forum

The forum is available to logged-in subscribers only.