Dozens escape sinking riverboat in Carlsbad

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) - Dozens of sightseers have been rescued from a sinking riverboat on the Pecos River in Carlsbad.

Carlsbad Fire Department engineer Earl Phelps says residents who saw the stern-wheeler sinking Saturday afternoon launched boats to rescue the passengers. Boaters already on the river joined in.

By the time the fire department arrived, nearly all 44 passengers on the George Washington had been taken to shore, slightly wet but otherwise unharmed.

Phelps tells the Carlsbad Current-Argus the boat's captain noticed the front of the craft coming out of the water, looked back and saw it was sinking by the stern. He ordered passengers to climb to the top deck.

There's no word on why the riverboat sank. Fire department divers were examining the wreck.


Information from: Carlsbad Current-Argus