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#399481 - 02/04/11 03:23 PM Police Investigating Tourist Death
Marty Offline
Last night we told you about American national, fifty-nine year old Dianna Mechling who was on a snorkeling tour yesterday afternoon at Goff's Caye when she was caught in the propeller of the excursion's catamaran. Mechling was cut up, and suffered head trauma when her head was flung against the vessel.

Mechling was along with her husband 61 year old Michael Mechling, on a red, yellow and white 65 foot catamaran, captained by 45 year old Martin Manuel Pariente.

Police say she was in the water snorkeling with three other tourists when she went under the boat. Today, Police Press Officer told us what their investigations have uncovered so far:

Sgt. Fitzroy Yearwood, Police Press Officer
"Our initial investigation had led us to believe that Ms. Mechling was in the water with 3 other tourist snorkeling and for some reason she ended up under the boat and eventually into the propeller for the same catamaran that they were on and apparently she got a large cut wound to the inner portion of her right leg and i think two more wounds to the face - somewhere around the right cheek area. I can say that she was on that trip with her husband Michael Mechling and she was transported to Belize Medical Associates where she later succumbs to her injuries."

"We are still questioning the boat captain; we have interviewed the other members that were on the snorkeling expedition. We are trying to see whether or not it is as a neglect for what may have cause her death."

Andrea Polanco
"So Mr. Fitzroy tell me, if charges should levied against anybody, would it be the captain of the catamaran?"

Sgt. Fitzroy Yearwood, Police Press Officer
"Well that would be determine at the end of the investigation then we will submit the case file to the DPP for her perusal and further instructions. So I am not at liberty to say who will be charge if anybody would be charge in this incident."

Meschling was a passenger on the Ryndam, a Holland America Line Cruise Ship who was in Belize for the day. USA TODAY, said that a release sent by Holland America gave few details except to say that an investigation into the accident continues and that line has stopped offering snorkeling tour pending the outcome of the investigations. The release continued to say "We are deeply saddened by this," stating that it has deployed a care team to assist the woman's family. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends."

Channel 7


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#399487 - 02/04/11 03:32 PM Re: Police Investigating Tourist Death [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Propeller of a catamaran slashes and kills tourist

Diana Mechling and her husband Michael were among thousands of tourists who visited the jewel on Wednesday. The American couple chose to go snorkeling in the pristine waters off Goff’s Caye but that trip ended tragically for the Mechling’s from Ohio. Diana lost her life when the propeller of a catamaran operated by Cruise Solutions, slashed her several times. And as Marion Ali reports, authorities are probing whether or not there was any negligence involved.

Marion Ali, Reporting

Goff’s Caye is an attractive tourist spot, excellent for snorkeling and relaxation just forty five minutes away from Belize City by boat. But one of those tourist expeditions went seriously wrong when one of the visitors was killed, reportedly by the propeller on the same boat on which she had traveled to the location.

Fifty-nine year old Diana Mechling, a tourist who was a passenger on Holland America Line’s Ryndam cruise ship, decided along with her husband, Michael Mechling, to go on a snorkeling tour at Goff’s Caye. The couple reached the area early in the afternoon onboard a vessel operated by Cruise Solutions. But the tour never took place because the incident occurred just moments after Diana got into the water. She somehow went under the vessel, whether it was voluntarily or was swept by the waves. That was when the engine’s rotating propeller delivered a huge gash to Diana’s right leg and two more to her face. The trip came to an immediate end when the boat captain, forty-five year old Martin Pariente reeled in everyone from the water and rushed Diana to the Belize Medical Associate’s Hospital for treatment. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.

News Five visited Goff’s Caye today and spoke with Ranger Alexander Chan, who works for the Belize Coastal Zone Management Authority, which manages the caye. Chan told us that the boat arrived at the caye and quickly proceeded to the snorkeling area several hundred yards away.

Alexander Chan, Park Ranger, Goff’s Caye

“The boat didn’t really stay long at the dock because it just did its briefing and went back to the reef and that’s what we saw.”

Marion Ali

“And it had unloaded some passengers?”

Alexander Chan

Alexander Chan

“Yeah, a couple, like three, four the most.”

Marion Ali

“So the incident happened as they reached there?”

Alexander Chan

“Yeah, well the sea was much rougher than today as you can see.”

Whether snorkeling should have been allowed during the rough sea state is one of several factors currently under investigation. While that is ongoing, the incident has triggered tour guides to exercise extreme caution today.

Alexander Chan

“Everybody did their snorkel on the inside for this day so, everybody is pretty moving in a cautious way. I’m out here for like the past three years and first time I’ve ever been around an accident like that.”

Marion Ali

Marion Ali

“The unfortunate incident is under investigation by the Belize Port Authority and the Belize Police Department to determine whether negligence was involved. Marion Ali, News Five, Goff’s Caye.”

The investigation is also looking at whether the vessel’s crew applied proper procedures during the trip. We tried to reach the Belize Tourism Board and Cruise Solutions for comment, but they didn’t return our calls.

Channel 5


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#399492 - 02/04/11 03:37 PM Re: Police Investigating Tourist Death [Re: Marty]
JZB Offline
Why on earth was the engine running if people were getting in the water?!

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#399498 - 02/04/11 04:29 PM Re: Police Investigating Tourist Death [Re: Marty]
Amanda Syme Offline
It is quite common to leave the engine running. However the engine should have been in neutral and the propeller shouldn't have been spinning.

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#399545 - 02/04/11 11:02 PM Re: Police Investigating Tourist Death [Re: Amanda Syme]
HopGA Offline
If the engine is left running, then that should be a crime in itself. A gasoline engine emits CO, which is odorless and heavier than air, which can be fatal and every year many lives are lost due to CO poisoning on and around boats which are not moving. An engine should never be left running when anyone is in the water around a boat.

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#399547 - 02/04/11 11:06 PM Re: Police Investigating Tourist Death [Re: Marty]
Amanda Syme Offline
I believe they are diesel engines not gasoline.

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#399553 - 02/04/11 11:52 PM Re: Police Investigating Tourist Death [Re: Amanda Syme]
HopGA Offline
Originally Posted By: Amanda Syme
I believe they are diesel engines not gasoline.


even though diesels do not emit near the CO of gasoline, you do not leave any engine running when swimmers are in the water around the boat, and this is true for generators as well as propulsion.

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#399555 - 02/05/11 12:35 AM Re: Police Investigating Tourist Death [Re: HopGA]
SP Daily Offline
Nonsense!

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#399566 - 02/05/11 01:15 AM Re: Police Investigating Tourist Death [Re: SP Daily]
SimonB Offline
Agreed.

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#399579 - 02/05/11 02:54 AM Re: Police Investigating Tourist Death [Re: SimonB]
Ernie B Offline
Bull shit
_________________________
Gun Control is Hitting Your Target.

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