"We do not feel we were negligent. We absolutely think that we acted in the best interest at the time..."

Peter Hughes


It was the biggest maritime disaster in Belize's recent history. It was the largest recorded recreational scuba diving death toll ever. And yet, too many questions remain unanswered. What is the true story of the M/V Wave Dancer tragedy and why does nobody want to talk about it?

On Monday evening October 8th, 2001 Hurricane Iris slammed into the coast of southern Belize causing mass destruction of the country's infrastructure and banana crop. She also capsized a luxury yacht carrying 20 members of the Richmond (Virginia) Dive Club who were in Belize for a week of rest, relaxation, and scuba diving.

Of the nearly two dozen boats that sought shelter from the storm at Big Creek Harbor only one sank; the M/V Wave Dancer, owned and operated by Peter Hughes Diving. Seventeen divers and three crew members, parents, grandparents, friends, sons, daughters, young and old, most trained and experienced in handling all types of underwater emergencies, drowned in 12 feet of water when the Wave Dancer capsized and flooded.

The purpose of this site is to provide the truth about the sinking of the Wave Dancer. It serves as an electronic archive for the facts surrounding this tragedy. Information and personal statements will continue to be added, as they become available. Submissions are encouraged; however, anonymous tips or facts that cannot be verified as accurate will not be included.