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Wednesday, August 20 2014 @ 12:51 AM EDT

One Missing In Boat Collision on Chucunaque River - Darien

Boats and SailingOne man is missing and several others were injured in a collision between two "piraguas" (long wooden dugout canoes) on the Chucunaque river in the Darién province. The first unofficial reports indicate that both of the dugouts were running without lights, a situation that caused the accident. One of the boats belongs to the State Border Service (SENAFRONT) and the other was carrying a group of farmers who were headed from Yaviza towards Pinogana. The authorities are looking for the boat driver by the name of Melvin Rosero, the person who is reported missing. The incident occurred at 7:00 pm yesterday evening. (Critica)

Typical Panamanian motorized "piragua."

Editor's Comment: I was in a SENAFRONT boat one time last year, coming back form the area of Aguacate in Bocas del Toro and headed for Isla Colon. It was about 1:00 am - early morning - and we were in a relatively large government boat powered by four 250 hp motors. We had no running lights on, and neither did the little Indian dude who was out there in the middle of nowhere, paddling away in his one man dugout canoe. The sharp eyed SENAFRONT watch on the bow of our boat spotted the guy at the very last second and gave the signal for an emergency stop. We missed the guy by inches. Running in any boat, anywhere in Panama after dark is a dangerous proposition.

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