The borough of Xochimilco has begun distributing life jackets to operators of barges in the borough’s canals in an effort to improve safety following a drowning last month.
The first 700 life jackets were handed out at the Cuemanco pier, one of the busiest embarcation points for canal tours, on Tuesday. In the next few days, life jackets will be distributed at the other piers, which include Fernando Celada, Nativitas and Caltongo.
The distribution of life jackets is one measure introduced by the city and the borough to improve safety in the Xochimilco canals after the drowning death of a reveler who fell from a barge last month. As of October 1, visitors to the canals have been required to wear life jackets. If barge operators allow their passengers to forgo life jackets, they face a suspension.
Xochimilco Mayor José Carlos Acosta Ruiz said that although the borough had originally planned that service providers would be required to purchase the lifejackets themselves, the borough decided to provide some of them to ensure that the new regulations are observed.
Acosta also noted that in the upcoming Day of the Dead celebrations, authorities will ramp up security in the canals to ensure the safety of visitors.