Cozumel, Q.R. — A boat with more than two dozen passengers was photographed and reported at a Cozumel dock on Thursday. The boat caught the attention of other nautical service providers after it arrived over capacity and without anyone on board wearing life jackets.
The vessel, which allegedly belongs to the company Cancun Adventures but registered in Puerto Vallarta, arrived with the captain maneuvering his boat from the back.
César Zepeda Escamilla, president of the National Association of Operators of Aquatic and Tourist Activities said he was curious to find out how that vessel obtain permits to enter the Cozumel reefs.
“I would like to know what permits he has because you see, that it is a high-speed boat with an authorized capacity for 11 or 12 people,” he said. He also explained that boat captains must operate from the front rather than the back, so he can see what is in front of him. Operating from the back of the vessel increases the potential of running over marine life or swimmers.
“We have seen several propelled turtles, which may be due to these boats, which circulate at 11 or even 15 knots,” he said adding that the boat’s Puerto Vallarta registration is also an issue and needs to be updated to legally operate.
Passengers on board the Cancun Adventure vessel were noted for sitting on their life jackets rather than wearing them while at sea. Over capacity vessels have become a concern for local boaters after the sinking of several vessels already this year.
One boat that sank was on New Year’s Day off Isla Mujeres that resulted in one drowned minor. The latest sinking occurred February 8 off the island of Cozumel that left one adult male drowned.