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Boat chaos, port closures as strong winds hit Rivera Maya

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — The strong winds that began hitting the region Thursday with the arrival of the cold front created instances of boat chaos around Playa del Carmen.

Personnel from the Federal Terrestrial Maritime Zone (Zofemat) and Protección Civil de Solidaridad were on hand in two separate incidences that saw small vessels being affected by the strong gusts. Municipal authorities were on site at Coca Beach after a day of 60 km/h winds saw the partial sinking of a moored fishing vessel.

The vessel Silver Wahoo required assistance by municipality personnel to pull the boat from the choppy sea onto land to avoid further damage. A backhoe was brought in to pull the boat out of the water.

Emmanuel Hedding Medina of Protección Civil de Solidaridad confirmed that the strong winds have generated sea swells that have proven risky for navigation.

During the afternoon hours, two lifeboats belonging to a local ferry company were knocked free, sending them into the sea. The two lifeboats were dislodged from the ferry while it crossed the Playa del Carmen-Cozumel route.

Hedding Medina said coastal personnel were given a heads-up about the two lifeboats, which he says, were spotted and eventually pulled from the water by Playa del Carmen lifeguards.

The intense southeast winds were also responsible for the port closure at Isla Mujeres Thursday. Port authorities announced the temporary closure to smaller vessels under 40 feet due to the strong winds that continue to generate large sea swells. Boat trips to Isla Contoy have also been canceled.

The strong winds are forecast to remain for the weekend as Cold Front No. 38 passes over the Yucatan Peninsula, through the Cancun, Riviera Maya region.