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March 2022    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 48, No. 3   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Cancun Dive Boat Propellers Kill Two American Divers

from the March, 2022 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

According to several media reports, two Americans diving off Cancun on Mexico's Yucatsan Peninsula were killed by the propellers of a commercial scuba boat passing over them. While we have not been able to verify all the information independently, here's is what the Daily Mail reported.


The owner of the Cancun scuba diving company in charge of two Americans who were killed in the water in a propeller accident on Friday has revealed to that another company's boat struck them on the head, causing them to die.

The two Americans have not yet been identified, but they are understood to be two men, both single, aged 60 and 65. They were experienced divers and marine biologists with over 20 years of experience. The pair were taking part in a Squalo Adventures dive at the USS Harlequin, which the Mexican Navy sank off Isla Mujeres in 1980 to create an artificial reef.

The owner of Squalo Adventures, who gave his name only as Andres, told that they were nearing the end of their dive and using buoy lines to make their way back to their boat when Mr. Tom, a larger vessel owned by the Cancun-based Scuba Cancun, sailed over them. Mr. Tom's propellers struck the two Americans fatally on the head, according to Andres. The other two divers and the divemaster survived.

Mr. Tom has now been seized by the authorities in Isla Mujeres. Mexican media reports that the captain of Mr. Tom is now in custody. He has not been named.

Andres was not on the dive, but his divemaster and the other two divers who survived relayed to him what happened in horrifying detail.

"We were diving on a shipwreck . . . the other big huge boat was passing through, and it hit us. 'They didn't take any precautions - we were the only ones there. The propellers are very large - they hit the two experienced divers on the head, and they did not survive. It killed them.

"They did not follow the rules; they just wanted to drop their divers off. They did not respect the area you are diving; you have to wait in line. Everyone knows," he said.

The two Americans were part of a larger group who have been visiting Isla Mujeres for years, Andres added.

Undercurrent takes all responsibility for any errors with our editing for length and clarity.

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