Diving tourist strays from group, drowns

cenote rescue

Tulum, Q.R. – A Spanish tourist has died after straying away from his guide and tour group while diving a local cenote.

The accident happened March 1 at Calavera cenote three kilometers outside the town of Tulum when a small group took to the cenote for an afternoon of cave diving. Not long after they entered the water did the 26 and 27-year-old women, both from Germany, notice the third person, a 24-year-old male from Spain, had wandered away from the group.

The group entered the cenote around 2:00 p.m. with their guide. The two women said they were in the water for about 30 minutes when they noticed the man was no longer with the group.  The trio set out to find the fourth diver, but were unable to locate him.

Authorities were notified of the accident. The Attorney General of the State (PGJE), Civil Protection personnel and the Special Rescue Unit Water Diving Division of the Municipal Police were sent to the scene. Members from the special rescue unit entered the cenote in search of the missing man but did not find his body on Tuesday. Rescue divers reentered the cenote on Wednesday and located the victim at 5:00 p.m. as Maurice Muller Heusch.

According to the group’s dive guide, the young man failed to comply with diving guidelines by not leaving the pre-set guide ropes set out in the cenotes. Many of the underwater caves are kilometers in length and can quickly become disorientating.