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Body of missing captain from Nichupté Lagoon tour boat found in Cancun Hotel Zone

Cancun, Q.R. — Federal authorities have announced the recovery of the body of the captain of a tour boat on the Nichupté Lagoon that had been missing since Monday.

In a statement, the Fiscalía General del Estado (FGE) de Quintana Roo reported the discovery of the lifeless body of the captain in a mangrove area located on the Tajamar Malecon in SM 6. He was reported missing Monday. Search and rescue located his body in mangrove vegetation Wednesday morning.

The FGE says on Wednesday, personnel from the Mexican Navy, Protección Civil from the municipality of Benito Juárez and Capitanía de Puerto located the missing captain, who was found without vital signs, when conducting a search in the mangrove of Malecon Tajamar.

They said that although there were no signs of violence, an autopsy will determine the official cause of death.

In their statement, the FGE says their initial investigation indicates that on Monday, the captain boarded a boat in the company of a foreigner who hired him to locate a drone that fell in the mangrove area, but later, all communication with the captain of the boat was lost.

Hours later, the foreign tourist, who is from Atlanta, Georgia, was rescued aboard the boat, unharmed. A search by air located the American man inside the small tour boat around 5:00 p.m. Monday. The captain was not with him in the boat.

Relatives of the missing man filed a report with the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Missing Persons. His body was discovered early Wednesday morning by a land search team. The deceased has been identified as Captain Ricardo Enrique Barrera Díaz, a 20-year boat captain.

The pair set out on the Nichupté Lagoon Monday around noon after the American man hired him to help search for a downed drone in the mangrove. The pair used a GPS to walk the mangrove in search of the drone. They walked for nearly two hours in search of the device, which they did locate. Upon returning to the boat, the captain claimed he felt ill and opted to wait in the mangrove for help. The American man returned to the boat.

Antonio Riveroll Riboon, the Municipal Directorate of Civil Protection explained that the mangrove area they searched was difficult work since the mangrove is very dense, noting that during their search, a Cancun fireman fell through the mangrove floor and was sunk chest-deep.

He said that on Monday when they received the initial call, the American man in his request for help indicated that his GPS marked him as being 50 meters from the road at km 2 of Kukulcán Boulevard, which is where they began their search, however, the coordinates were incorrect and that the man was actually located a mile and a half further inside.