More than a week ago, the MOI Guadalupe vessel, manned by two Argentines, a Mexican and a Cuban-American, disappeared in the waters of the Mexican Caribbean after delivering humanitarian aid in Haiti. The ship sailed on September 11 from Puerto Aventuras in the Riviera Maya and lost contact on September 28 during its return, between Cuba and the island of Cozumel in Quintana Roo. Since then, relatives and friends of the four crew members have undertaken private searches to find them, at the same time that they have denounced a lack of support from the authorities to search the area.
After unloading supplies for the victims of the August 14 earthquake in Haiti, on September 26 the boat began its return to Mexico, according to Enrique Ochoa, from the Cancun International Rescue Brigade, in charge of the humanitarian mission. The organization’s emergency coordinator indicated that since Tuesday 28 the loss of contact with the yacht where the Argentines Renzo Spaciano, 20 years old, and Carlos Juárez, 43, the Mexican Martín Vega Argáez, were traveling to the port captaincy , 44, and Cuban-American Denis Manuel Fernández Díaz, 46.
However, the search bulletin took three days to be issued by the Secretary of the Navy (Semar) since the loss of the ship was reported, according to Luis Alberto Spaciano, Renzo Spaciano’s father. “It took 72 hours since we lost connection with the ship for someone official to go looking for it at the last point where contact was made,” he tells this newspaper.
Since October 5, the only searches have been carried out in private operations paid for by family members and business owners of the yacht, after Semar changed the search status from active to passive. “I have never heard anything more illogical than saying that we are looking for people to save their lives in passive search and from the ground,” Spaciano questions.
By counting 128 hours “without any trace”, the agency suspended the active search for the yacht last Tuesday. “The units of the Mexican Navy and the nautical community will remain alert and in the face of new evidence, operations will be reactivated in order to follow up on the new trail,” the agency said in a statement issued this Thursday.
Spaciano also warned that several port captains do not have the report of the disappearance of the ship issued by Semar, which makes the rescue even more difficult. “We traveled to the tip of Cabo Catoche (Quintana Roo) and to our amazement in the lighthouses they had no official report of any MOI Guadalupe yacht, it cannot be that this happens on the tenth day of the search,” he explains after having sailed in a private yacht near the island of Holbox, where this Tuesday there was a report of the sighting of a flare. “The relatives of Martín (Vega) left for Progreso and there they didn’t have an official report either. Another person went to Isla Mujeres and they told him the same thing, “he added.
According to Ochoa, there are at least three possible versions of the cause of the ship’s disappearance: a mechanical failure, bad weather or a hijacking by pirates. “The one that has made a lot of noise is that some Haitian pirates boarded the boat, took control in the open sea and stole it,” he says. “That could be, although I know the boat and it is not so big that one or more people can go hidden and nobody notices.”
Regarding a mechanical failure, Ochoa explains that before setting sail in Cancun the crew had a problem with the generator, but it was changed and they also had a spare one. “According to the port captains and sailors we have contacted, there was an area of bad weather but they do not consider it enough to have damaged the boat to the point of capsizing it,” he adds.
Subscribe here to the newsletter of EL PAÍS México and receive all the informative keys of the current situation of this country