New safety rules for the canals of Xochimilco will go into effect this weekend after a 19-year-old youth drowned after falling off of a barge on Sunday.
In a press conference earlier this week, Xochimilco borough president José Carlos Acosta Ruíz said the borough and city governments will implement new regulations on barges to prevent the tragedy from repeating itself.
Jumping or stepping between barges will be prohibited, and visitors will be required to remain seated during the trips. Speakers playing loud music will also be prohibited.
Alcohol consumption will be restricted to people over 18, and there will be a two-drink limit during each barge trip.
Acosta added that the 680 barges will be required to carry lifejackets, and that gondoliers will be subject to drug tests.
“It will be a gradual change,” he said. “Some of the restrictions will start this weekend, others on the 15th, and others on October 1. But we’re going to be stricter about regulating alcohol consumption.”
The measures were taken in response to the death of José Manuel Romero, who died while celebrating with friends on a barge in Xochimilco on September 1. A video that circulated on social media shows Romero falling into the water when trying to cross from one barge to another.
Source: Infobae (sp)