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#399875 - 02/09/11 09:48 AM Boat Captain Liable For Tourist’s Death
Marty Offline
Last week, 59 year old cruise tourist Diana Mechling was killed on a snorkeling expedition when the propeller of a catamaran cut her up.

The Port Authority has concluded its investigation into matter and found that the Captain of the boat Reef Rocket, Martine Manuel Pariente was negligent.

According to a release from the authority, around 1:30 pm last Wednesday, Mechling was in a group of tourists that was getting off the Reef Rocket when she got entangled in one of the boat's propellers and received a large cut wound to the lower pelvic and thigh area.

We note that this differs from the police account which last week said that she somehow ended up snorkeling under the vessel.

But based on its finding The Port Authority has decided to charge 55 year old Pariente with negligently causing loss of life, and has suspended his captain's license. The Reef Rocket has been prohibited from sailing pending further inquiries.

Channel 7

#399876 - 02/09/11 09:49 AM Re: Boat Captain Liable For Tourist’s Death [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Captain of catamaran charged after tourist dies during trip

Last Wednesday US National, fifty-nine year old Diana Mechling lost her life during a snorkeling trip to Goff’s Caye when the propeller of the catamaran she had just alighted from slashed her right hip and leg. Today the Belize Port Authority issued a release stating that following an inquiry by the harbor master, the captain of the vessel, Martin Pariente, has been charged with Negligently Causing Loss of Life under the Harbours and Merchant Shipping Act. Pariente has also lost his captain’s license indefinitely. In addition, the vessel, Reef Rocket, has been banned from sailing pending further inquiries. The Port Authority release states that Diana got entangled in the vessel’s propeller and was severely injured. Diana and her husband Michael were in Belize on a one day cruise.

Channel 5

#400148 - 02/12/11 10:25 AM Re: Boat Captain Liable For Tourist’s Death [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Minister of Tourism speaks about accident that killed a tourist

It was last week Wednesday that American tourist, Diana Mechling, was killed when the propeller from a catamaran she had traveled on, cut her on the right pelvis and leg. For almost a week the matter was under investigation before any regulatory body issued any kind of statement. Then the Belize Port Authority issued a release saying that the captain of the Reef Rocket, Martin Pariente, had been temporarily stripped of his license and the vessel was also prohibited from operating until the investigations were complete. And according to the Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia, there should be enforcement of the laws and weaknesses in the system such as professional training are lacking.

Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism

“I definitely believe that there is some negligence on the part of: first I would say on the part of the captain and crew that were running the boat because any captain, the first thing that you need to do—how many people are going on the water and how many people have come into the boat before you are ready to rev or do anything. That dah the first thing that you need to do.”

Marion Ali

“The snorkeling expedition never happened because they were just getting into the water when she somehow got under the vessel and was cut fatally.”

Manuel Heredia Jr.

“Yes, but I don’t know if you are aware; before when you are about to anchor, they will either—if there is mooring, they will moor and then they will have a chat and brief all the guest or tourist you have over there. This is the way things are done. This is the way things supposed be done. If that wasn’t done, then something is wrong because that is the first thing as a trained guide that you are taught to tell the people exactly what are the safety regulations and everything.”

Marion Ali

“One of the people I spoke took told me that the waves were rough that day, the sea condition. So then it would have required even a normal day for a crew member to be in the water with the tourists.”

Manuel Heredia Jr.

“There is a number of crew to the number of passengers—I think it’s about eight to one; no more than that. If you have less than that then again I think that is negligence. The next thing that I think, on my side is that we need to do more training cause right now there is a training but we need to have the practical part of it also. Many of the people who that are tour guides come from college and so on—it’s easy for them to pass their exams—but the physical part of it that to me is the bigger part and we need to concentrate a lot on that. In the part of also lets say—be it Coastal Zone or Fisheries, whatever; they also because many times they are making monies out of these areas, but there is not really the enforcement part of it. And I think and I always maintain it while I was at Fisheries Advisory Board and other group like that that Belize has the best laws but its enforcement is poor, very, very extremely poor. And I agree that that needs to be addressed.”

Marion Ali

“So how will it be addressed under yourself as the minister?”

Manuel Heredia Jr.

“I need to speak to both agencies—Coastal Zone, Fisheries, whoever, and Port Authority—we need to sit down together and come up with stiffer regulations and better enforcement.”

The incident happened at Goff’s Caye where Mechling was snorkeling along with other cruise tourists.

Channel 5


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