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Bacalar Lagoon records three boat incidences in less than three weeks

Bacalar, Q.R. — Another vessel has sunk on the Bacalar Lagoon for being over capacity. It is the third incident on the lagoon involving a boat already this year.

Earlier this week, a pontoon ended up sinking after being overloaded with passengers. The incident was videoed by people from another boat who watched the pontoon sink. While others watch, only one jet ski comes to its aid.

In less than three weeks, it was the third boat incident on the Laguna de los Siete Colores. Carlos Briceño Villagómez, the General Director of Public Safety and Traffic of Bacalar, said this latest incident is not isolated.

Three tourist service vessels have taken on water already this year on the Lagoon, he said. The first was on January 1 with a sailboat that ended up capsized in the lagoon due to its mishandling. The second occurred on January 3 when a boat began to sink due to the excess weight which was the result of too many passengers.

That boat was towed to shore. Fortunately, no one was injured. The third incident happened on January 17 when another vessel took on water due to being over capacity.

Briceño Villagómez said that these incidents involving boats take place in Federal Zone territory, whose security is in the hands of the state’s Port Captaincy. However, in the case of this latest sinking, the aquatic unit of the Bacalar Police provided assistance to tourists who were on the boat.

He said that while most of the boat incidents involve mechanical failure due to a lack of maintenance, that is not always the case.

“These pontoons have floats, but there was an oversight by the service providers who do not care about the maintenance of the units. They do not correspond to public safety because they operate in the federal zone,” he said, adding that he does not know what measures the Port Captaincy is going to take against these service providers, but acknowledges that they are the only body able to impose sanctions.