The First Family Of The Cozumel Channel

The First Family Of The Cozumel Channel

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Carolina Prieto jumping in the Cozumel Channel

A body of water in Mexico that is similar in distance and conditions (albeit not water temperature) to the English Channel is the 20 km stretch of cobalt sea between Isla Cozumel and the Maya Riviera on the Yucatán Peninsula.

At 5:00 am on December 27th on the Yucatán Peninsula, the Prieto family started their relay across the Cozumel Channel, otherwise known as the Mexican English Channel that stretches 18 km from the Cozumel Island to Riviera Maya in order to raise funds for education. The multi-national relay members included daughter Carolina Audrey Prieto Moody (Spain), father Mauricio Luis Manuel Prieto (Mexico), and mother Susan Eloise Moody (American).

Nora Toledano of the Open Water Swimming Mexican Association (Asociación Mexicana de Aguas Abiertas) reported, “The day began with a gorgeous moon, but with challenging conditions: 7 knots wind, 21ºC air temperature, 26ªC water temperature, high waves and tough Gulf Stream currents, even though it was the perfect scenery for this swim which requires training and strength shown by the Prieto Family to close with gold pin this atypical 2020. Escorted by Big Time boat with Captain Robert Yam and the support of the Cozumel Navy sector, in 1 hour swimming shifts, Carolina started the swim in Cozumel with 60 strokes per minute, a second turn for Mauricio, who passed on the baton to his wife Susan. The same order was held through 6 hours 52 minutes 56 seconds over a cumulative swimming distance of 28.8 km as certified by Asociación Mexicana de Aguas Abiertas observers Edith Ramírez Blancarte and Jean Baptiste D-Abbadie. The trio made a successful landing on Riviera Maya while raising more than the US$10,000 (see here) for the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation.

The Asociación Mexicana de Aguas Abiertas was co-founded by Nora Toledano (the first Latin American woman to complete a double crossing of the English Channel), Arleen González (the first Latin American woman to swim across the Strait of Magellan in the Chilean Patagonia), and Fernando Morthera (open water swimmer with international crossings) to organize this crossing in order to grow the sport and develop interest in Mexico under the governance of the English Channel rules of swimming and safety. In Cozumel, they receive the support of Beatriz Sandoval for the coordination of the event and the logistics on the part of the Harbor Master’s Office and the Naval Sector of Cozumel.

AMEXAA is accepting reservations beginning in June 2021. For more information, visit

To learn more about the Prieto family crossing, visit here.

To learn more about the Mexican Open Water Association, visit here​.

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Steven Munatones