Both Visitors Were Qualified Divers And Investigations Are Underway
Two American tourists were tragically killed this week, after being struck by a boat’s propellor while scuba diving. The accident took place near Isla Mujeres.
The incident took place on Friday when the two experienced divers were preparing to resurface. Both divers were marine biologists with over twenty years of experience in scuba. The dive was a four-hour-long session focussed around a wreck of a US Navy ship that was sunk by Mexico in Isla Mujeres.
The two divers were preparing to surface after the dive when another company’s boat broke protocol and drove through the diving area. As the boat moved through the dive site, the much larger boat’s propellor struck both divers on the head, killing them both, It is a well-understood rule within the global diving community that any boats should wait before passing through a dive site.
The boat belonged to the company Scuba Cancun, and according to some sources, the captain of the boat has been placed in custody. Another two divers survived the incident, as well as the company’s divemaster. The oat that struck the divers was apparently rushing to return its own dive group.
Tourist safety remains a concern for Cancun and the surrounding area. The region has experienced tremendous growth over the past two years, capitalizing on Mexico’s relaxed entry requirements during the pandemic. But now, while the rest of the world opens up, its focus is shifting to holding onto its new market.
Instances like this can naturally stoke distrust of some of the most popular tourist attractions in the area. Visitors from the US and Europe expect a high standard of safety and regard for their wellbeing. Accidents such as this one suggest a disregard for health and safety. Regardless of how careful the majority of the other companies are, it reflects poorly on the industry as a whole.
Tourist safety remains at the center of many problems the region faces. Violence has shaken Quintana Roo in the past few months garnering headlines across the world questioning how safe tourists can be in the region. The most recent instance saw two men killed in a popular restaurant in Tulum. Before that global media covered the shocking double assassination of two men in broad daylight at the Xcaret Hotel.
Although both men involved were high-level members of a Canadian-Vietnamese crime syndicate, many of the headlines cast a worrying shadow over Cancun and the other major tourist spots. Statistically speaking, tourists are still extremely safe in Cancun, whether in regards to tourist excursions or organized crime. But reputation matters for tourists.
As other destinations in the Caribbean drop their regulations, Cancun will be prioritizing its image to ensure travelers aren’t scared off. The American Ambassador for Mexico recently made a public statement suggesting that he has complete faith in the safety systems in place for tourists, a move which hopefully helped install confidence in the region.
As Mexico moves forward, tourists can expect to see more security systems in place. The tourist security battalion has been patrolling the region since November and a recent meeting involving the FBI and DEA from the US. A ten-point plan was developed to help secure the state and in turn the confidence of the tourists.
Some of the steps include added access to surveillance for the police, more security patrols, and even aerial surveillance of the beach and restaurant areas.
With time, it’s hoped that the concerns will be alleviated with most tourists and that the effects of organized crime will also lessen.
Tourists intending to travel to Cancun in the near future should keep on top of the most recent restrictions both in their home country and in Mexico.
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