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Placing shoe on other foot, Isla Mujeres fishermen rescue marines

Isla Mujeres, Q.R. — A local fisherman off Isla Mujeres put the shoe on the other foot after he and his crew rescued the crew of a sunken marine vessel.

The rescue happened on Monday approximately five miles from the island when several marines were taken out by an unexpected wave that hit the stern and sunk their boat. The crew of marines were out performing regular patrols when the motor of the small vessel failed.

Local fisherman José Castro Valladares witnessed the sinking and immediately took to their direction. With the help of his own crew, they plucked the handful of marines from the water. He says he saw the boat quickly become “invaded” by waves.

Dressed in full uniform, the marines went down with their vessel which reportedly sunk in seconds. Casto said that upon approach, he could see they were having difficulty swimming due to the weight of their gear.

“When I saw that the boat disappeared from my sight, I imagined that they had sunk, so I approached. In that moment, I noticed that they were having difficulty swimming since they were with boots, so I prepared to help them.”

Photo: Secretaría de Marina-Armada de México

Instructing his crew, the marines were pulled from the sea and their sunken vessel tied to his boat for a return to land. He explained that the sailors were grateful, since due to their uniforms, they could not swim. “It was complicated,” he added.

He explained that after taking them to safety, they thanked him. Even the crew from the patrol boat applauded, a gesture he says he will not forget.