Rescue boats helped 99 people to safety, with another 40 reaching dry land themselves.
It's a miracle I'm still alive.'Another survivor, Eder Tobon, was quoted as saying: 'We began to hear a loud noise next to the shop and men's bathroom.'One of the girl shop workers went to have a look and started shouting that water was coming in.'There was tremendous confusion because people started panicking and we were stopped from going to the upper decks.'I took hold of two children and waited for the boat to sink.'Those on the first floor went down very quickly, before the volunteer rescuers managed to reach us.'Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos was among those who travelled to Guatape yesterday/on Sunday after being informed of the tragedy.Divers were mobilised to help search for those missing.The three friends started off in Colombia and used a tuk-tuk and speed boat to reach Santa Rosa, in Peru, where they downed their first beer.They then rushed back to the port and crossed the Amazon again, where they drunk a can of Skol in Tabatinga, Brazil.The only foreigner known to have been hospitalised so far is a Belgian woman who was treated for a panic attack.
Regional disaster response unit Dapard confirmed nine people had died in the tragedy, five of whom were recovered lifeless from the reservoir and another four who died in hospital.
Many passengers said they were given no life-jackets when they boarded the vessel.
This morning, it emerged that the vessel had been involved in three previous accidents.
Local business owner Marilyn Usme revealed there had been a third incident around three months ago, near the same jetty, but few people had found out about it because it happened at night and no passengers had been on board at the time.
She told a local radio station: 'The boat was fixed and carried on working as normal.'A Civil Defence worker described the construction of the four-storey ferry as 'hand-crafted.'Hernando Jaramillo, a Guatape resident and member of the regional Antioquia Department Civil Defence team, said: 'These boats really are constructed in a traditional way.'I got to know the shipbuilder's yard where they were made.
Speaking from Colombia, law student Mr Foskett said: 'It started off as a joke in a bar and then we realised no one had ever tried it before, and then we had a problem with our flights and were stuck for over a week.'Whilst working out how to spend our time we were looking at a map and realised it could be possible to visit all three countries within an hour.'From there, it escalated to a beer in each country in under an hour.'We tried to make it as challenging as possible by adding two extra rules.