Captain found dead in apparent suicide on grounded Chilean Ro-Pax

Image: Chilean Navy
Image: Chilean Navy

Police officials and public prosecutors in Chile have launched an investigation into the mysterious death of the captain of a vessel that ran aground in the country’s Aysén region on Wednesday, July 3.

The incident occurred at around 02:00 local time when the Ro-Pax Coyhaique made bottom contact near Aysén’s Huichas island while transporting passengers and cattle from Puerto Chacabuco to Puerto Montt in the Los Lagos region.

All 20 passengers and 18 of Coyhaique‘s 19 crew were later rescued by a Chilean Navy vessel that was despatched to the area to render assistance.

The captain was the only one of the vessel’s occupants not counted among those who were rescued. He was later found dead hanging from the ceiling in one of the onboard cabins.

A police official said the corpse did not show any signs of foul play, lending credence to the possibility of suicide.

Some of the crew have told investigators that the captain left the bridge sometime between the grounding and the eventual rescue by the navy.

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