Metro Weekly

Gay boat cruise capsizes off the coast of Puerto Vallarta

Viral video of sinking ship leads to recriminations for party-goers who found themselves criticized on social media

Video of the sinking ship – Photo: All About the Benjamins, via Twitter.

In a typically bizarre end to a bizarre year, and a particularly ironic twist of fate, a group of gay New Year’s Eve party-goers on a cruise boat in Mexico — who were flouting COVID-19 protocols recommending social distancing — saw their revelry come to a screeching halt as the ship they were on sank off the coast of Puerto Vallarta.

The ship that sank was part of the PV Delice Party Cruise, a gay-oriented cruise package that offers an open bar, live DJ, and gogo boys, as well as a clothing-optional private beach party, to travelers. Admission reportedly ran from $120 to $150.

According to the local police, the boat had 60 passengers aboard and was headed for land when it started sinking, according to Newsweek

“I think the crew just didn’t know how to maneuver the catamaran very well, the sea was not very rough nor was it too windy,” Emilio Blanco, a Chicago resident and Puerto Vallarta party-goer, told Out and About PV, a local gay entertainment publication.”I saw at least 10 small boats coming to help. I jumped in a private boat whose owners were graceful enough to send their captain to help out. It was quite a scary situation!”

By January 1, video footage spread around Twitter of the sinking vessel and rescued passengers, who became the brunt of jokes and memes, like those on user Justin Randall’s twitter page.

Many social media users condemned the cruise’s (mostly American) passengers for disobeying state guidelines and traveling internationally, endangering locals in the coastal town, in spite of Mexican hospitals already being close to full capacity with current COVID-19 patients.

Local health personnel have previously urged against gatherings of more than eight people, and have advised bars to close by 7 p.m.

But the PV Delice Party Cruise was not the only party deemed a potential “super-spreader” event by critics. Gay circuit party planner Jeffrey Sanker had also planned to hold a New Year’s Eve weekend party in Puerto Vallarta. But when locals found out about his plans, they protested and demanded that the local government take action to stop the party, according to NBC Palm Springs

But instead of canceling the event, Sanker moved it to an “undisclosed” location in nearby Nuevo Vallarta, which has fewer COVID-19 restrictions. In a text to ticket holders, Sanker’s company, White Party Entertainment Inc., told attendees to keep the location secret and not to share details with others. They also urged them not to take any photos or videos of the event in order to avoid a backlash — which happened nonetheless once details were published in local media.

Social media users took to Twitter, referring to Sanker and his fellow Puerto Vallarta party goers as “COVIDIOTS” undeserving of media attention. 

Read more:

California woman threatens to bomb D.C. Catholic school for publishing same-sex wedding announcements

Oklahoma gay club vandalized twice by someone using food as a weapon

Gay Republican claims fiancé was fired due to picture from Mar-a-Lago New Year’s party

Leave a Comment:

Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!