On August 22, 1980, a historical tragedy was registered in the state of Campeche, after 41 years it is remembered among the inhabitants for the number of deaths that occurred “La panga de Campeche”.
The Campeche panga was a recognized ferry in the state in the ’80s, its main function was to transport the vehicles, trucks, and inhabitants of Ciudad del Carmen to Isla Aguada, passing through the Laguna de Terminos of the Campeche coast.
The means of transport were used frequently among the inhabitants, so the ferry was already in poor condition, deteriorated and with visible material damage, however, it continued to operate on its normal routes.
It was on the night of August 22, at 9 p.m. when the ferry route was affected by a storm, the ferry was overloaded with buses and passengers when a wave hit the ship that ended up sinking in the depth of the sea.
“La panga de Campeche” sank with buses, passengers, families, and children who did not have the opportunity to leave due to the force of the waves and the storm.
The authorities registered 85 dead, even though there were more than 150 passengers on the ferry, making rescue activities more complicated due to the storm, the darkness of the night, and the only hospital in the city that operated with 5 beds.
Very few passengers were able to flee the boat and swim as close to the pier, where the volunteers and ambulances were to try to help the passengers.
The ferry captain died next to his boat, who always joked that “One day the panga is going to sink”, after reporting the poor conditions of the boat and having no response from the authorities.