An American who was vacationing on Ambergris Caye succumbed to injuries after he was involved in an accident while on a dive trip. The accident occurred on February 18th near The Elbow dive site on the southernmost tip of the Turneffe Atoll off the coastline of Belize. The deceased, 61-year-old Gary McNabb, a Scuba Diver Instructor, was on an expedition on a vessel belonging to Ramon’s Village Resort Dive Shop when he was injured while entering the water for a dive. The investigation, however, has taken an entirely different angle as the accident was never reported to police or the Belize Port Authority.
According to San Pedro Police, the Boat Captain, 31-year-old Marcus Alamina of a DFC Area of San Pedro Town did not report the accident until March 2nd, ten days later, after it was learned that McNabb succumbed to his injuries on February 27th. Alamina told police that on the day of the incident, McNabb along with a guide entered into the water for a dive at The Elbow. A few moments later, blood was seen on the surface and McNabb was observed floating. Alamina claims that McNabb was quickly retrieved from the water and was observed with an injury to the head. CPR was performed while underway to Belize City.
According to police, the 61-year-old, who had frequented Belize on several occasions, was taken to Belize Health Care Partners Ltd., where he was admitted in an unconscious state. Police say that so far, their investigation shows that surgery was performed on McNabb the same day. However, arrangements were made, without notifying the authorities, to have the critically injured man transferred via an air ambulance to the United States of America. “No one was notified. The Port Authority was not notified, the police was not notified and neither did they inform the US Embassy in Belize,” stated Inspector of Police Henry Jemott.
In a press release issued on March 3rd by Ramon’s Village Resort, they explained the unfortunate accident. “Mr. Gary McNabb was part of a group of ten divers on a dive trip to ‘The Elbow’ at Turneffe Atoll when he was apparently swept under the dive boat and struck on the head by a part of the boat. After a thorough discussion of the accident, Ramon’s Village Divers staff confirmed that although the boat engine was running, the prop was not engaged at the time of the accident and that the dive boat was positioned to drift away from the divers who were entering the water.”
“One of Ramon’s Village dive masters entered the water at the same time as Mr. McNabb and looked up to see Mr. McNabb partially under the dive platform of the boat. Mr. McNabb was rescued from under the boat, brought aboard the dive boat and CPR and first aid administered at which time Mr. McNabb began breathing on his own and regained consciousness. Mr. McNabb was transported by boat to Belize City to a waiting ambulance and transported to Health Care Partners Ltd. Hospital for treatment,” added the statement. It explained that the following day, McNabb was flown to a hospital in San Antonio Texas, USA where he died days later. “The management and staff of Ramon’s Village Divers are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Mr. Gary McNabb. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. McNabb’s family and friends during this difficult time,” ended the statement.
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