Rescuers recovered the bodies of five people from the Agunmukha river in Patuakhali's Rangabali upazila yesterday morning, about 40 hours after a speedboat carrying 18 passengers, including the five, sank in rough weather.
The speedboat sank in the estuary of seven rivers, including the Agunmukha, Tetulia and Ramnabad, on Thursday evening. The vessel was on its way to Rangabali from Golachipa defying a ban on the operation of all kinds of vessels less than 65-feet long.
The authorities imposed the ban after a depression had formed over the Bay of Bengal, said officials.
Rangabali OC Ali Ahmed said Bangladesh Coast Guard, Fire Service and Civil Defence and the police conducted a joint rescue operation and recovered the floating bodies in the morning yesterday.
Thirteen other passengers, including the driver of the speedboat, managed to swim ashore.
A case was filed with the Marine Court yesterday over the incident accusing the driver and the owner of the speedboat.
The five dead are: Mahibullah, 45, a police constable from Jirail village in Barishal's Bakerganj upazila, Md Kabir, 30, a loan officer of ASA, an NGO, Mostafizur Rahman Sujan, 35, inspector at Baherchar branch of Bangladesh Krishi Bank, Md Hasan, 25, a construction worker from Auliapur village in Patuakhali Sadar upazila, and Imran, 25, from Joygora village in Bauphal upazila.
The bodies were handed to the victims' families around noon yesterday.
Banker Mostafizur's body reached his village home in Patuakhali around 1:15pm. His family members, including parents, broke down in tears after the arrival of the body.
He was buried at the family graveyard after Asr prayers.
Constable Mahibullah's namaz-e-janaja was held at Patuakhali Police Lines after Asr prayers. Later, he was buried at a graveyard in his village in Barishal's Bakerganj upazila.
The Patuakhali district administration gave Tk 20,000 and 30-kg rice to each of the victim's families as primary assistance.