Search in the Mar Menor for a 15-year-old boy missing after a shipwreck in Los Alcáceres

The three young occupants of the kayak wrecked early this morning in the waters of the Mar Menor belonging to the municipality of Los Alcázares, apparently did not know how to swim, and the two survivors spent two hours in the water before being rescued, according to what the mayor of this coastal town, Mario Pérez Cervera, has told Europa Press.

Cervera acknowledged that their hearts are “shrinking” and “counting the hours”. “We are eager for this to have a happy ending, although it seems to be difficult considering that many hours have passed since we located the first two survivors,” he said.

He explained that the victims are three young people, two of them minors, who went out at night – almost at dawn – on board a kayak. The mayor pointed out that none of them knew how to swim and one of them stood up in the boat, “with the misfortune of throwing the three occupants into the water”.

“At that moment the nerves began to get the better of them,” said the mayor, who pointed out that one of the survivors had been swimming for almost two hours without reaching the shore.

At that precise moment, members of the Local Police, the Civil Protection of Los Alcázares and the Guardia Civil had to enter the water to rescue the first two occupants of the kayak, who had not managed to reach the shore. The young men were suffering from severe hypothermia and one of them even fainted in the ambulance.

One of them apparently stood up in the boat, “with the misfortune that he threw the three occupants into the water”.

The emergency services immediately launched a search operation for the third occupant of the kayak, a minor. So far, the operation has been unsuccessful, despite the fact that it is made up of five boats from the Civil Protection of Los Alcázares, the General Air Academy (AGA) and the Civil Guard, as well as the helicopter of the Directorate General of Security and Emergencies of the Autonomous Community.

Up to this point, the mayor acknowledged that the weather was “extraordinary”, which made it easier for the emergency personnel to see the seabed. However, he pointed out that “it is believed that the missing person has been dragged towards the interior” of the salt lagoon.

Pérez Cervera recalled that the maximum depth of the Mar Menor is seven metres, which makes the search task more difficult. He also regretted that the wind has moved, which makes the rescue work even more complicated.

The Guardia Civil is currently accompanying the adult survivor so that he can indicate to the agents the place where the kayak capsized so that the operation can focus the search on that specific area.

Pérez Cervera estimated that the boat went to sea between approximately 00.00 and 01.00 hours, bearing in mind that the survivors were found at 03.25 hours and that they said they had been trying to get out of the water for two hours.

The mayor pointed out that the boat did not belong to the young people, but was found on the promenade. The boat was indeed found by the operatives of the operation.

The three young victims of the shipwreck were residents of the municipality, according to Pérez Cervera, who remarked that, for the moment, the reason why they went to sea is unknown. “It seems that, from what some relatives have told us, it could have been child’s play or a prank,” according to the councillor, who said that it will be the Guardia Civil who will investigate what really happened.

The mayor has not been able to specify the distance the young people were able to travel with the boat because, in addition, it was a night when the moon did not give enough light and the victims “are not regulars of the sea”. Therefore, he acknowledged that it is being “difficult” to locate the exact spot where the shipwreck occurred.

“We are keeping our fingers crossed that the missing person is found and that this is just a childish or careless incident with a happy ending; after that, they will take action,” he said. “We hope with all our strength that luck smiles on us today, such an exciting day for all households, and that this ends in the best of gifts that can be given to us,” he concluded.

The families of the victims are assisting in the rescue and are receiving assistance.

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