Mexican Sailors Board San Diego-Based Dive Boat

Incident Happened Near Mexico's Coronado Islands

An afternoon cruise turned into a hostile situation for dozens of people over the weekend when Mexican sailors with machine guns boarded a San Diego-based dive boat.

The incident happened on Sunday off the Coronado Islands resulted in a two hour standoff. Though it was an extreme adventure, it was one that passengers on the charter boat did not sign up for.

"Probably a few of them were nervous because of the guns but overall, I think they were all right," said the boat's captain Spencer Salmon.

Salmon was leading a group of 38 passengers who completed three dives flawlessly off the Coronado Islands on Sunday.The Horizon charter boat was positioned just to the north of the southernmost island in Mexico's Coronado Islands.

Two Mexican naval ships approached the Horizon. A 180-foot Mexican battleship was standing guard several hundred feet to the northeast, while a 25-foot cutter came right up next to the Horizon. Six members of the Mexican Navy armed with assault weapons boarded the American boat, as the passengers were ordered to the boat's rear deck for what turned out to be an agonizing wait. On deck, passengers with young children grew more nervous as the delay dragged on.

The passengers were detained for two hours and then forced to leave Mexican waters.

Salmon admitted the situation became heated with a Mexican Navy commander wanted to see a Mexican diving permit.

"I've never heard of one but [I'm] happy to look into it and figure an answer out," said Salmon.

On Wednesday, Salmon went to the Mexican consulate downtown for a meeting with authorities from both countries.

All parties said they're seeking a solution that will prevent the same thing from happening again.

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