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Posted by on April 11, 2005 at 23:58:17:

In Reply to: Diver Killed in Cozumel posted by on April 11, 2005 at 23:40:38:

MEASURES--Boats to Be Sanctioned & a New Navigational Channel Put Into Effect
El Semanario de Cozumel

Cozumel Harbor Master Genaro Escalante Medina,
represented that last week's accident where a diver was killed when he was dragged into the propeller of his private yacht has made many tourist fearful. However, he emphasized that this was an isolated incident that could have been prevented with more precautions in dealing with Cozumel waters..

The accident, he went on to say had less to do with any inexperience or lack of skill on the part of the captain and more to do with the bad conditions in the water at the time including the sea swell.

He remembered last year there was only one propeller accident which also was not the fault of the captain as the diver in this case was very inexperienced and slipped and fell into the water and was drawn into the propeller. Here again it was an accident where not a single thing could have been done.
But to avoid future incidents of this kind he recommended that boat captains--particularly those not intimately familiar with working with divers in these waters -- should turn off their engine and let the diver swim to the boat rather than going looking about for them.

Another safety concern that is currently being dealt with is that some dive boats have been detected circulating very close to bathers principally in the Villablanca and the Paraíso's zone, an area given over largely to tourist .

They are currently cracking down hard on those captains who come in too close or too fast so as to avoid some lamentable accident if there is sea swell. And they can expect very large fines if they are caught doing this.

He represented that future accidents will also be avoided by the new system of marine navigation that is going into effect as part of the Work of the Century Cozumel improvements program that also included the renovation of the downtown waterfront area. Buoys and light signals will be employed to regulate direction, velocity and circulation of boats within the reef area. The regulated channel will extend from the Puerta Maya Paradise Reef area in the north 20 kilometers south to Punta Sur. It will be 100 meters wide.


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