Passenger boat runs aground at Arrecife Alcranes

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Scorpion Reef from above. Photo: File

Progreso — A Sea Ray Sundancer ran aground on the Arrecife Alacranes, possibly damaging a federally protected area, police said.

The hull of the 47-foot luxury cabin cruiser was ripped open when the pilot hit a rocky area, according to the report, which did not identify the boat’s owner.

The Sundancer had sailed from Yucalpeten marina on Sunday afternoon or evening before the accident occurred. The accident was reported on Monday.

The cruiser’s passengers and crew were uninjured and the boat is back in the marina for repairs, according to the report.

The federal environmental agency, Profepa, and the Mexican Navy, is investigating. Permits are required to visit the island chain off Progreso. Boats that veer too close to rocks and coral can leak oil or damage the reef. Reckless boat owners face fines up to 5 million pesos, and even prison time.

The five sandy islands that make up Scorpion Reef, as it is known in English, is guarded by environmental officials. It has 116 species of birds, 136 types of fish, 24 species of sharks and 34 coral types.

With information from Diario de Yucatan

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