The Panama Canal pushboat Chame II sank at approximately 10:05 p.m. Friday August 18 as she and the tug Gamboa transported the drill barge Thor–all three ACP property–toward a dredge site in Corozal West. The three had just exited the Miraflores Locks.
The boat was outside the navigation channel and is not affecting canal operations including ship traffic.
The vessel’s operator Dalila Rodriguez was rescued on the spot and transferred to a local hospital where she remains in stable condition. Two sailors who were working on the launch at the time reported no injuries.
A formal investigation is under way to determine the cause of the accident.
Equipment was mobilized and the salvage operations began at once. Divers were sent to evaluate the condition of the pushboat and the floating crane “Titan” began lift operations which continued into Saturday afternoon.
To prevent any traffic delays due to the movement of the Titan through the locks to the site of the accident relay operations were conducted on Saturday at the Miraflores Locks.
The Panama Canal Authority will provide updates on the salvage operation as information becomes available.