Yesterday, Ellis and Chilo became heros as they rescued three Mexican tourists, whilst on their way to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve.
The tourists had set off at sunrise from Caye Caulker in a canoe, determined to have a do-it-yourself snorkeling tour to see the manatees at the North of the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve – far cheaper they thought than one that the tour operators offer and surely the reef was not that far away!!! Instead of heeding the advice of locals and staying close to the land (they had rented the canoe with a different pretex than the one they intended), the three ventured out in to the open seas (none of them with any experience or knowledge of what lay before them).
When they were far from the point of Caye Caulker over an hour into their excursion, the canoe started taking on water in the higher waves expected in this location. One of the tourists referred to their canoe as ‘drowning’ and within minutes the canoe had sunk with all their possessions – leaving them to tread water out on the open sea with no flotation devices – far away from any land.
Four hours later they say, Ragga Prince was passing in the distance – if it was not for Chilo’s keen eye the tourists would have been passed quickly – but instead they headed the sailboat to the swimmers in deep distress. Ellis threw out the life rings to the tourists, the one girl was so tired that she could not even move towards the ring!!
The Mexicans were indeed in deep distressed at their situation. They clung to the Guides as they were truly grateful that they had been picked up. They were hungry and thirsty and therefore Ellis and Chilo gave them their lunch so they had some sustenance.
The crew immediately got on the phone to the office in order to advise the Fisheries to come and pick them up in order that they could be seen by a Doctor and indeed they came within 45 minutes.
The tourists themselves are absolutely safe and sound but, a lesson must be learnt from this kind of incident. Firstly, canoeing or kayaking around Caye Caulker is absolutely safe (in the right conditions and the weather was perfect yesterday). Always listen to the advice of locals with regard to conditions and never stray away from reach of land – if you are not going to listen to someone who knows better – then take a life jacket with you!!!
Anyway, once again Raggamuffin’s crew have been proved to be heros – well in particular Captain Ellis and Chilo – well done boys!!!