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Florida sheriff’s office working to combat squatters moving aboard derelict boats

The Martin County Sheriff’s Office is working to remove derelict boats off its coast, which have increasingly been targeted by squatters. 

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Four Mexican tourists died after a boat carrying 19 people capsized late Monday near Cancún. 

The captain of the “Diosa del Mar” was also detained. Authorities did not specify what type of craft the boat was. 

The vessel was carrying 17 passengers and two crew members while traveling to Cancún from Isla Mujeres, when it “wrecked in the bay between Isla Mujeres and Cancún, when returning to its place of origin,” the Isla Mujeres City Council said in a press release. 


Isla Mujeres sign

People stroll around in Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo state, Mexico. Four tourists died Monday after a boat capsized near the island.  (Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images)

“We express our solidarity with the families of the victims and with the people who were rescued,” the council said. 

Most of the passengers were rescued by the Mexican navy, local police and civil defense agencies. Some were taken to hospitals. 

All were Mexican citizens. Authorities were looking into whether the boat was overcrowded. The passengers had reportedly gone to a restaurant on the island and were returning to mainland Mexico when the incident occurred. 

“We are analyzing the weather conditions and the boat’s capacity, whether it had the capacity to carry those 19 people,” said Raciel López, the state attorney general.

the Gaviota Azul beach in Cancun, Mexico

Gaviota Azul beach in Cancún, Mexico. (AP Photo/Israel Leal/File)


The Cancún region has experienced similar boating accidents in the past, given its popularity with tourists. 

In 2022, two American divers were killed when a dive boat drove over them. In 2018, two dozen tourists were injured when a crude bomb exploded aboard a passenger ferry at Playa del Carmen, a resort area further down the coast. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Louis Casiano is a reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected].

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