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Three missing from Banco Chinchorro located in Belize waters

Othón P. Blanco, Q.R. — Three people reported missing from the island of Banco Chinchorro have been found. The two men and one woman who left the island Tuesday by boat for the mainland of Mahahual have been located in Belize waters.

Mexico’s Secretary of the Navy worked in coordination with Belize authorities in hopes of locating the lost vessel carrying the three Mexican nationals. Their boat Aurora de la Mañana was located by Belize authorities in Cayo Luna.

On board the vessel, Belize authorities identified 59-year-old José Guadalupe Cetina Martín and his partner, 40-year-old Cristina Lizama Martín along with a worker, José Morales Hernández, 55.

All three had active missing persons reports in Quintana Roo after they went missing October 17. The trio had set out in a boat to get supplies from the mainland at Mahahual when they were pushed by strong winds.

After a search, they were located by Belize Coast Guard approximately 92.6 kilometers southeast of the Zaragoza canal in Belize territory.

“Personnel from the Seventeenth Naval Zone rescued José Guadalupe Cetina Martin, his partner Cristina Lizama Martin and a worker named José Morales Hernández, approximately 50 nautical miles (92.6 kilometers) southeast of the Zaragoza channel,” they reported in a statement.

All three were located in good health. Photo: Secretaría de Marina October 21, 2023.

A defender-type vessel from the Maritime Search, Rescue and Surveillance Station (ENSAR) of Chetumal set sail and a Texan-type aircraft from the Mexican Navy joined the search.

In addition, naval personnel coordinated with the Belize Coast Guard for support during the search operation for the vessel Aurora de la Mañana. Belize Coast Guard personnel managed to find the three people, who were received by ENSAR personnel from Chetumal for their subsequent transfer to Mahahual.

All three were reported in good health and have already been reunited with their families.