Foreign tourists show to have highest rate of noncompliance

Unfulfilled Sailing Safety Measures
By: José Antonio Pérez

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At least 20% of sailing vessels, both tourist as well as fishing boats, that take to the sea from this port do not comply with safety measures. This translates into potential risks in the event of an accident, as has been shown through prior experiences where human lives have been lost.

Javier Rivera Barrera, Port Captain, revealed that although so far this year there has been no registry of any shipwrecks, in many cases there continues to be a lack of giving notification concerning the departure and entrance of vessels, principally those crewed by foreign tourists.

Ideally, he stated, 100% of the ships would report their navigational itinerary, yet unfortunately this is not the case. Rivera Barrera indicated that despite the fact that there are still many people who do not heed the safety measures, the Port Captain is alert to prevent tragedies at sea, and has the magnificent collaboration of the Military Naval Sub sector.

It is important to point out that in this region, at least four shipwrecks have been registered since 2000, one of which cost the lives of five people.

On August 30, 2000, after 18 hours floating in the waters of the Sea of Cortez, following the capsizing of their boat, three local fishermen were rescued safe and sound. Alejo Montes, 28, and his two sons Noé Montes Liera and Jorge Montes Liera, 18 and 19 respectively, were the shipwrecked fishermen who managed to survive.

The Montes family members had been lost since the early hours of Tuesday, August 29, date on which they didn’t return to port as the ship in which they sailed, the Isla San Ángel number three, sank, leaving them stranded in the water.

On November 11, 2002, four people, among them a four-year old boy, were rescued from drowning after their boat also capsized and sank due to the tides and wind. After spending over three hours at sea floating with the help of their lifejackets, the stranded boaters were rescued in front of the area of Playa Miramar at around 12:30 by the shrimp boat Mónica M.

The rescued people were identified as Rubén Trujillo, 37, Scott Smith, 40, Oscar Culp, 70 and Tyler Culp, at only 4-years old.

On October 25, 2003 tourists Carl Hopper, Randy Howard, Joshua Howard, Mark Brinke, and Darrel Holland aboard the 24-foot catamaran “Manta” were sadly lost at sea.
Following various days of an intense search, the vessel, which had capsized, was found on October 29th without its occupants.

Eight days following the disappearance, the first body of one of the group was found, and the other four were declared dead.

On May 12, 2004, two fishermen that had shipwrecked and remained lost at sea for nearly 35 hours were located in the area between La Cholla and Cierro Prieto.
The stranded individuals, identified as Antonio Escobar Escalante and Bruno Amador Lauterio, made it to the puerto penasco port with the support of those who found and assisted them.

In accordance to information reported by the Port Captain and the office of Public Safety, Escobar Escalante and Amador Leuterio had gone fishing around 5 in the morning of May 10th aboard the boat “Almejas 28”, which then sank.

Puerto Penasco Port Capitan