Authorities on Ambergris Caye have confirmed a boat accident that occurred on Tuesday June 24th in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The incident occurred around 12:10PM when boat captain Nisan Zuniga of San Pedro Town was trying to rescue two drifting tourists.
According to several reports, Zuniga was out with family members when he noticed two Caucasians who seemed to be in distress and losing the battle against strong currents and drifting into the main channel. Without hesitation, Zuniga left his family in shallow waters inside the reef section of the reserve and proceeded to rescue the two drifting tourists. Authorities say that the boat flipped over outside the reef when a large wave hit the vessel, sending Zuniga and the two rescued tourists into the water.
Vessels in the area immediately responded to the scene where all three people were pulled out of the water. As a result of the accident, the tourists were taken to the Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II where they were treated for minor scrapes and released.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve Manager Miguel Alamilla said that they have established that it was a genuine accident in an attempt by Zuiga to salvage two lives. As such Hol Chan Marine Reserve will not be pursuing charges against Zuniga for any damages caused to the reef during the rescue attempt.
San Pedro Sun