Amateur film footage captured the moments just after a sightseeing boat sank at a popular tourist resort in Macedonia, killing 15 people.
The accident took place some 200 metres from the shore of Lake Ohrid. Authorities confirmed those who drowned were all Bulgarian. The cause is still under investigation, but some reports say the vessel may have snapped because of overcrowding. ‘‘We were sitting with some friends on the beach and we heard calls for help, people screaming, crying. When we jumped to see what was happening in the lake we saw that the boat had started to sink. Everything was over in two or three minutes,’‘ said one eyewitness. On Saturday, the president and prime minister of Macedonia visited victims in hospital, declaring Sunday as a national day of mourning. One survivor said the boat sank very quickly: ‘‘It was just a second, and I started to save myself at the first moment; everybody tried to save everyone from the group.’‘ Teams are now trying to retrieve the 1930’s vessel, which lies at the bottom of Lake Ohrid’s waters, Macedonia’s best known tourist resort.