Tragic Death Is The Next In A Line Of Drownings In Quintana Roo
A Russian diver tragically died in a cenote in Tulum when his air tank ran out of air. The incident is the next in a long line of drownings in Quintana Roo over the past few weeks.
According to reports, the diver entered the cenote on Saturday afternoon with the intention of attempting a deep dive. The cenote itself is 250 meters deep but it is unclear how far the man was intending to dive.
When he did not resurface after the designated time, it became clear that he was lost in the maze of tunnels in the cenote and had run out of oxygen. The man was only 19 years old. It is assumed he had some diving experience but the extent of his abilities is unclear at the moment.
The depth of the incident made the retrieval of his body complicated, and a diving team was assembled to find him. His body remained at the bottom of the cenote for almost two full days before the retrieval squad was able to bring him back to the surface.
The cenote where the incident took place was the Kukulkan Cenote. It’s a popular spot for tourists to swim near Tulum. Many groups are able to achieve a diving certification in the cenote. Again, there is no suggestion that he was on a tour or if there was any lapse in the safety protocols being implemented.
Unfortunately, it’s not the only death in the region in the past weeks. Quintana Roo saw a massive spike in visitors over the Easter period with more than a million passing through the state. With so many flocking to the beach, the potential for disaster is multiplied and multiple incidents took place.
One particularly sad day saw two bathers die over the course of one afternoon. Worryingly, the death of a middle-aged man was almost a positive as the death toll could have been much higher. More than ten people were all struggling in the water as he drowned. Other bathers and lifeguards were filmed making a human chain in an attempt to pull the swimmers back to the shore. In the same video, the man’s lifeless body was seen being dragged onto the beach. Resuscitation attempts failed and he was pronounced dead on the scene.
The local government increased the lifeguard presence on Quintana Roo’s beaches, but it’s an uphill battle for the emergency responders. Several of the incidents have happened during a red flag designation. When a red flag is being flown on the beach, conditions in the water are dangerous. This could mean the waves are stronger than normal or there may be a riptide dragging swimmers out to sea.
Swimmers continue to disregard the warnings, leaving the lifeguards scrambling to save them in the worst-case scenario and also putting their own lives at risk.
The cenotes also represent a problem for the local government. The popular swimming spots can be treacherous for those not being careful. Rocks, shallow jumps, and underwater tunnels are all complicated locations to monitor and tourists are often found swimming in non-supervised sites.
Although many of the problems are directly related to tourists’ poor safety decisions and not a lifeguard or governmental issues, it still represents a PR problem for the region. The more problems arise, the more negative exposure the region receives online and on other platforms.
As Cancun and the rest of Quintana Roo work to cling to its newfound market, it’s doing everything it can to ensure most tourists enjoy a safe trip and can tell others in their home country that a visit to Quintana Roo is worth it.
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