Lack of recognition for members of the Mazatlan Aquatic Rescue Squadron


The staff is responsible for safeguarding the integrity of those who come to Mazatlan 80 kilometers of beaches

Mazatlan, Sin. Not only are they in the care of bathers who come to the beaches, they know well that from one moment to another can be changed to the surveillance of the rest of the city, or periphery

It is the Aquatic Salvage Squadron of the Municipal Police , whose staff is responsible for safeguarding the integrity of those who come to the 80 kilometers of beach in the port.

The ESA commander, Martín Zúñiga Estrada, commented that currently the group is made up of 18 elements, which monitor the bathers’ areas from the Isla de La Piedra to Playa Brujas.

On the Mazatlan bay, he said, the tritons are distributed in 11 points, most in the sand area, while 15% on the Malecón, which travel continuously.


The Aquatic Salvage Squadron of the Municipal Police was born 25 years ago after most of its elements then belonged to the Operadora de Playas, which was responsible for the care of the bathers’ areas of the Mazatlan.

The new “tritons” did not pass more than 15, which were recognized only as lifeguards, whose knowledge did not go beyond knowing how to swim and get bathers in danger.

The civilians to join the ranks of the preventive corporation, had to subject themselves to an exhaustive training, which requires the municipality, so they can be public servants.

Since then, the ESA staff is part of the Municipal Public Security Secretariat, whose surveillance tasks are also concentrated in the beach areas.

Important part

The coordinator of Municipal Civil Protection, Eloy Ruiz Gastélum, acknowledged that the conformation of the lifeguard cluster is vital for Mazatlan, for its certification of beaches.

“They are important for the port, especially for beach certification, which requires the port to have a certain number of lifeguards that must be certified and accredited.”

The Mazatlecos lifeguards, he said, must comply with a series of knowledge, ranging from different swimming and rescue techniques, as there are various circumstances that can occur at sea.

Also, he commented, the “anonymous heroes” must have the basic first aid education, which they must apply once they take to the mainland the or bathers in distress.


The head of lifeguards, mentioned that previously the surveillance work focused mainly on holiday periods, however as of six years to date everything has changed.

The summer and winter holidays, as well as Holy Week and Carnival, he said, are the cycles in which they have a marked work, after the constant arrival of tourism.

However, he pointed out, since the opening of the Mazatlán-Durango highway (2013), they have not let their guard down, since this means of communication is much used by visitors from the north of the country, who do not stop visiting the beaches of the port.

Since then, he said, beach rescue has increased considerably, because only in the last seven days they have recorded at least 100 rescues.

From below

Miguel Ángel del Valle, deputy operational director of the Municipal Police, recalls that it is 13 years that he has worked as a lifeguard, and now as an element of the Municipal Police.

I belonged first to a hotel, then to the Beach Operator and later here to the Municipal Police, where I am 20 years old and of which 13 have been inside the Aquatic Rescue Squadron

Miguel Ángel del Valle

He acknowledged that a policeman can be a lifesaver and vice versa, so they have to be trained in order to hold a position as an accredited police element.

Precisely, he said, being a preventive agent has allowed him to participate in training courses, which have been essential to occupy positions like the one he currently holds.

Lack of recognition

Zúñiga Estrada described the work carried out by the personnel in charge as important, since they are looking for no deaths in the sea, which unfortunately do not stop happening due to various factors.

He regretted that every time there is a death on the beaches, it affects the good results they have had through rescues of bathers, who in the last two months have had between 5 and 8 saves on a weekly basis.

The achievements of the “tritons” to reduce the rate of people killed at sea, he said, is not taken into account, as is the case with the municipal police operation.

While the preventive agent is recognized for its value, the lifeguards, he said, are not taken into account to receive a gratitude that can be seen reflected, as is a grade.

Yes you can

The deputy director of the Municipal Police, mentioned that the public servant who works within the preventive corporation, can grow through the same training.

Accreditation of courses, he said, has served to be taken into account in the staggered posts that are within the Municipal Public Security Secretariat.

Many people and work colleagues, he said, remember him as a lifesaver, without knowing that he has been inside the surveillance operation, which takes place both in the urban and rural areas of the municipality.

He clarified that the ‘tritons’ have many possibilities of growth within the SSPM, because belonging to the ESA is only one of the many positions that can occupy as an element or as police chief.

Lifeguard points

Isla de la Piedra

Olas Altas


Universidad de Occidente


Hotel Las Flores

Hotel Ramada

Hotel Mission

Hotel Pueblo Bonito

Hotel Marina El Cid

Playa Brujas

Source: el sol de mazatlan