Fishermen robbed by pirates off the coast of Progreso feared for their lives

Photo: (Yucatán a la mano)

Progreso, Yucatán, (July 09, 2021).- As proof of the insecurity that leaders of the fishing sector have denounced, the night of Wednesday, July 7th, shortly before midnight, a robbery on the high seas was recorded on three fishermen who were in a boat in which they went fishing for grouper.

The victims were getting ready to rest when they were approached and boarded by a boat with four armed subjects.

The assailants took 150 kilos of fish including grouper and other species, they took away a communication radio, cell phones, as well as the Yamaha 60 horsepower outboard motor, then they fled, leaving the three fishermen abandoned at drift in the middle of the sea, without any means of communication whatsoever, and without a motor to return the boat to Progreso.

A pleasure boat that passed by onThursday morning, gave aid to the fishermen who with improvised signs and flags asked for help.

Pescadores asaltados por piratas en Progreso temieron por sus vidas
Photo: (yucatan.com.mx)

Safe Harbor

The tourist ship towed the boat to the entrance of the Yucalpetén shelter port, where the fuel station is located.

The events occurred between 11 and 11:30 pm on Wednesday night. The 26-foot long boat “María José” was anchored about 22 miles west of this port, north of Chuburná.

Onboard the boat were the fishermen Román Mendoza Ramos, Abelardo Chan Gómez, and Alfonso Gil Félix, 48, 49, and 36 years old, respectively, who were getting ready to rest after a long day of fishing when they got robbed.

In the midst of the silence and darkness, they did not hear the arrival of a boat that bowed to them and when they reacted, one of the four assailants was pointing at Román Mendoza’s face with a shotgun and saying: “Do not move or you die”. They told the other two fishermen in the same threatening tone: “If you move, we will shoot you, don’t look up.”

The robbery lasted less than an hour, the criminals first took their cell phones, then the communication radio, and finally, the outboard motor that they boarded the boat, and they also took the product, about 150 kilos of fish, and immediately fled.

The “María José”, which was at anchor, was left without propulsion, the fishermen spent the night awake, and at dawn, they prepared to wait for a boat to pass and it was around 9 in the morning when they saw a yacht approaching, named “María”, they improvised flags with their shirts and drew the attention of the crew of the pleasure ship, explained what happened, and so the ship towed them to the sheltered port of Yucalpetén, where they arrived around 1:30 in the afternoon.



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