A North American tourist was about to drown in an area with abundant sargasso in Playa del Carmen, the municipality of Solidaridad. The incident occurred last Saturday at 4:55 p.m. when the woman entered a shallow stretch but where the Sargasso had landed.
The video, that went viral on social networks, illustrates how the tourist is inside the water and is helped, first, by a lifeguard of the hotel that operates in the place. The man pulls her between the sea of seaweed until they reach the shore, where the mounds of accumulated sargassum make it difficult to get to the beach.
The lifeguard ends up resting the young woman-who is unconscious on the carpet of Sargasso, while a guest approaches to support them. Given the difficulty of moving it, two other people come to help, until other employees of the hospitality center react and approach, even to cover it with a towel.
Minutes later an element of the municipal police appears and the woman has regained consciousness. The young woman was identified as 27-year-old Chantal Piatza, originally from Colorado, United States.
The municipal director of the Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zone, Ulises Gavia, confirmed that the woman was a tourist and that it is not known why she decided to enter the sea.
"We do not know why she got involved, in that area, there is not so much depth, you can walk 10 meters inside and you can walk, we do not know what happened, until they started helping, especially there the beach service providers and everything until then the hotel paramedics noticed."
Playa del Carmen is one of the most affected areas in the Riviera Maya by sargassum, but not all of its beaches are full of algae, whose presence is not permanent, nor does it continue. The masses of sargassum are located in specific areas, including the dock area, affecting beaches frequented by the population, but also the beach fronts of several hotels.
Last Friday the Hotel Association of the Riviera Maya reported a fall in occupancy, 5 percent in Holy Week, and a loss valued at 100 million dollars in the first quarter of the year, because of the massive arrival of sargassum, insecurity, and the proliferation of digital platforms for holiday rentals.
The president of the hotel organization, Conrad Bergwerf, indicated that the lack of actions in these three areas has caused the performance of tourist activity in the Riviera Maya to maintain a downward trend from January to April.