- Associated Press - Sunday, January 22, 2012

TEHRAN (AP) — Seventeen people died Saturday evening after a storm capsized a passenger boat off Iran’s southern coast, the official IRNA news agency reported on Sunday.

The boat sank while sailing between Hormuz Island and the port city of Bandar Abbas on the mainland, the report said. Rescue teams saved five passengers.

The report said the boat began its 11-mile journey despite a travel ban on light boats by shipping authorities because of a storm with winds of 50 mph.

An eyewitness told the Associated Press that most of the dead were senior citizens on a group tour to the island.

Every day, dozens of passenger boats travel between Bandar Abbas and nearby islands near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, some 670 miles south of the capital, Tehran.