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#441995 - 07/06/12 04:18 AM OVERCROWDING ON BOATS
Cooper Offline
I almost posted this under the thread about Tsunami Tours overcrowed boat but thought I would just start a new post. Tsunami was legal in what they did, if the boat was to full then the port authority needs to change its rules.
What is much more dangerous are incidents like this. Leaving Caye Caulker on a Monday morning San Pedro Express water taxi had over 100 people on the dock on Caye Caulker, my husband and I counted heads. It was raining and nasty out. We were told two boats would be making the trip. The first boat came and they took the school kids first, then folks with luggage on the boat, this left about 50 people waiting for the 2nd boat. The first boat did not depart and sat at the dock for about 10 minutes when they decided to load the rest of the people on the boat. It was a very scary trip with people standing everywhere, we tried to count heads and with the San Pedro folks we came up with about 140 people on a boat that was licensed for 85.And 85 is overcrowed, In bad weather, rain and rough seas, I have probably taken over 200 water taxi rides..I WAS SCARED..to make things worse about 10 minutes outside of Belize City another empty boat pulls along side and the deck hand starts shouting out that 55 people have to get off the boat and transfer into the empty boat..in the rain..in the rough seas...well those that were already standing in the rain got off but they were still short about 35 people, it was almost forceful to get the remaining 35 folks off the boat. By now all you local folks have probably figured out what was up. They could not let the overcrowed boat port in Belize City as they would have been busted and fined by the Port Authority, they had no 2nd boat near Caye Caulker...they just pulled one out of belize City. I should have gone to the Port Authority, best I could do was go to Caye Caulker Water Taxi and report them....so what the moral of this story??? I dont know..just another day in Belize???
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#441996 - 07/06/12 04:28 AM Re: OVERCROWDING ON BOATS [Re: Cooper]
Nobody You Know Offline
It's all fun and games until a capsizing drowns a handful of tourists...

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#442009 - 07/06/12 03:15 PM Re: OVERCROWDING ON BOATS [Re: Cooper]
gailtor Offline
That is totally wrong! However, everyone who got on that boat knew that they were breaking the law, or at least that it was not a good idea. Every person who got on that over crowded boat is part of the problem. I would have waited for the next boat.. nothing can be that important that you have to get on such an over crowded boat in nasty weather. IMHO
Thankfully nothing happened. It certainly was an accident waiting to happen.

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#442020 - 07/06/12 06:55 PM Re: OVERCROWDING ON BOATS [Re: Cooper]
shuffles Offline
There is no way I would have gotten on that boat. But someone does need to report this to the Port Authority. These overcrowded boats are, as someone said an accident waiting to happen. Seems like even when they are fined or ticketed, even with Tsunami's situation, they continue to overload the boats.
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#442022 - 07/06/12 07:28 PM Re: OVERCROWDING ON BOATS [Re: Cooper]
C2C
Cooper, I think you put yourself in unnecessary danger boarding an overloaded boat but I'm glad it worked out. The BPA can be contacted at 501-223-0714 or 501-223-0716 for non-emergency reports (999 for emergencies).

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#442024 - 07/06/12 07:54 PM Re: OVERCROWDING ON BOATS [Re: Cooper]
Nobody You Know Offline
Though most of us are familiar with boats and their operation you can not assume the typical tourist is. They may only be on a boat a few times a year. It is up to the operators to "do the right thing", the safe thing. To monitor the loading, the capacity, the conditions. Several fatal incidents have been allowed to go unpunished(to the extent there was negligence). Until these operators are held accountable(civilly and criminally)they will ALWAYS do what is economically expedient...

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#442027 - 07/06/12 09:11 PM Re: OVERCROWDING ON BOATS [Re: Cooper]
Katie Valk Offline
Interesting parallel story from NY where an overloaded boat capsized and 3 kids drowned. They do not have carrying load limits up there. They had 27 friends and family on a 34 ft boat. Now they know
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#442028 - 07/06/12 09:18 PM Re: OVERCROWDING ON BOATS [Re: Cooper]
Amanda Syme Offline
the boat was rated for 17 passengers and all kids are required to wear life jackets. they ignored the coast guard rules. shame

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#442029 - 07/06/12 09:52 PM Re: OVERCROWDING ON BOATS [Re: Cooper]
iluvbelize Offline
Cooper, that sounds absolutely frightening... and having people change boats on the sea in that weather...insane. I can't believe they put the school kids on that boat and then loaded it to that capacity. The adults know better, but the kids don't and someone should have objected. No appointment or errand is so important that safety on the sea is compromised, in my opinion. I guess you were are fortunate to have made it safely.

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#442031 - 07/06/12 10:32 PM Re: OVERCROWDING ON BOATS [Re: Cooper]
Katie Valk Offline
From todays NY Times:

There is neither a federal regulation that limits the capacity of a recreational boat of that size, nor a voluntary standard, said Petty Officer Thomas McKenzie, a spokesman for the Coast Guard in New York City. Boat operators are required to have a life jacket on board for every passenger, Petty Officer McKenzie said. Children 13 and younger are required to wear their life jackets at all times except when they are below deck or in a cabin, he said.
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