Friday, June 21, 2024

Cruise ship rescues 6 adrift Cozumel fishermen and their dog

A missing fishing boat and its seven passengers — including a dog named Canelo —  were rescued off the coast of Quintana Roo on Tuesday thanks to a big assist from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.

The small fishing craft “Aris” left Cozumel on early Sunday and was adrift at sea for nearly 48 hours after suffering an engine failure and loss of communication, according to the Mexican Navy (Semar).

A lifeboat crew from the Harmony of the Seas cruise ship was dispatched to collect the sailors and their dog. (Joana Maldonado/X)

All passengers were dehydrated but in good health after being found in their boat in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 20 nautical miles from Cabo Catoche, the northernmost tip of the Yucatán Peninsula.

Relatives, friends and colleagues in Cozumel were in a high state of angst after Monday came and went with no sign of the fishermen, despite government-agency searches by air and by sea, and the efforts of local people with boats.

CZM Noticias of Cozumel left a Facebook note Monday night for local fleets: “With all your heart if you go fishing tomorrow, don’t forget to look up to the horizon, in case you see a boat drifting or floating in the sea.”

Hours later, that’s exactly what happened.

Coastguard teams were dispatched to assist in the rescue. (Gobierno de Quintana Roo)

Harmony of the Seas had left Galveston, Texas, on Sunday on a seven-night Western Caribbean cruise, starting with two full days at sea before reaching its first port in Roatán, Honduras.

Crew from the world’s fourth-largest passenger (originally No. 1 when it debuted in 2010) ship spotted the approximately 25-foot-long fishing boat and quickly sent personnel on a rescue lifeboat to check on the passengers and give them beverages.

The crew also notified the Navy, which completed the rescue of the six “Cozumeleño Castaways,” as they were dubbed by website Diario Cambio 22. The captain of the vessel was identified as Manuel Chimal. 

By Tuesday night, Chimal and his five crewmates (and Canelo) were back in Cozumel with their families and friends.

As for the Harmony of the Seas — which can host 5,479 passengers at double occupancy, along with a crew of 2,300 — the massive ship will stop Thursday at the Costa Maya cruise port in south Quintana Roo and Friday in Cozumel after its Wednesday visit to Honduras.

With reports from Cambio 22, La Jornada and Riviera Maya News



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