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#509326 - 11/21/15 10:51 AM Cruise Visitor Drowns On Caye Caulker Tour
Marty Offline

Where Was The Guide?

From time to time, we have reports of tourists drowning while on water tours - and usually, it's from some cardiac event related to snorkeling or diving. But, tonight there's a disturbing report about a 61 year old American tourist who drowned while trying to save his wife's life. Disturbing, because Karl Edwin Simmons was a cruise tourist, who was on a guided tour - and, regulations state that both he and his wife should have been under the close watch of tour guides.

It happened on Tuesday afternoon - when the Texas resident and his wife, Esther were part of a tour by the H2o Tierra company in Shark Ray Alley which is in the Caye Caulker Village Marine Reserve.

According to police, the sea current caused Esther Simmons to start drifting away. Simmons went to save her as a result he disappeared into the water and was later seen floating face down. He had drowned. Dr. Mario Estradabran certified cause of death to be "Asphyxiation by Drowning, Incidental".

But - how did she start floating away - where were the tour guides? And where was the tour guide who should have been watching Karl Simmons? Regulations state that one tour guide must accompany every 8 guests on every water tour.

These are questions we put to the Belize Tourism Board - which has been very dodgy on the issue. 80 hours after the accident, all the public relations manager could tell us is, quote, "we will investigate matter further and will need time to provide any response."

As for the tour operator, Tom Wilson is the owner of H2o Tierra and when asked for comment, he told us, quote, "I would like to but due to the ongoing investigation, I cannot."

Karl Simmons and his wife had come to Belize on the Norwegian Ship, Jade.

We will keep following the story until the BTB or Wilson can tell us where the breakdown in safety measures occured.

Channel 7


Texan Drowns in water near Caye Caulker

On Tuesday 17 November 2015, at 12:05 p.m., 61 year old Karl Edwin Simmons, an American Security Officer of 50 Baywood Street Shore Acres Texas, USA went snorkeling along with his wife Esther Simmons in Shark and Ray Alley located in Caye Caulker Village Marine Reserve. The sea current caused Esther Simmons to drift. Karl Simmons went to save his wife and as a result he disappeared into the water and was later seen floating face down. His body was retrieved from the water and taken to the Caye Caulker polyclinic where he was pronounced dead on arrival at 12:45 p.m. by Dr. Michael Medina. No signs of injury observed. The postmortem examination was conducted by Dr. Mario Estradabran who certified cause of death as "Asphyxiation by Drowning, Incidental".

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#509390 - 11/24/15 10:49 AM Re: Cruise Visitor Drowns On Caye Caulker Tour [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

6 Days After Cruise Tourist Death, Still No Answer From BTB

On Friday we told you about the drowning death of 61 year old cruise tourist Karl Edwin Simmons. Simmons and his wife Esther had arrived on the cruise ship Norwegian Jade and went on a tour to Shark Ray Alley in the Caye Caulker Village Marine Reserve. Simmon saw his wife Esther drifting away and went to save her - but drowned. It happened 6 days ago, but still the Tourist Board they have no update into the investigation of what went wrong on the tour led by h2o Tierra.

It was on a guided tour - and, regulations state that both he and his wife should have been under the close watch of tour guides.

And while the BTB is mum, we have been contacted by a guest on that same tour who said that there was mass disorganization and inadequate snorkeling and safety equipment - as well as no medical equipment on board. Tour operator, Tom Wilson who is the owner of H2o Tierra told us he could not comment.

Channel 7


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#509408 - 11/24/15 05:12 PM Re: Cruise Visitor Drowns On Caye Caulker Tour [Re: Marty]
Cybercayecaulker.com Offline
As a side note, this was not a tour company based on Caye Caulker, but in Belize City. And to add to this, the Caye Caulker tour guides and tour operators have been complaining for YEARS and YEARS that the cruise ship tour operators do not have enough guides on their boats to comply with the rules, and their complaints go on deaf ears. Just my 2 cents.
_________________________
Caribbean Colors Art Gallery, Caye Caulker
www.caribbean-colors.com
www.caribbean-colors.blogspot.com

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#509414 - 11/24/15 09:38 PM Re: Cruise Visitor Drowns On Caye Caulker Tour [Re: Marty]
Katie Valk Offline
I would let the family of the deceased know this, because BTB nor the cruise ship will change anything unless they have to
_________________________
Belize based travel specialist
www.belize-trips.com
info@belize-trips.com

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#509416 - 11/24/15 11:02 PM Re: Cruise Visitor Drowns On Caye Caulker Tour [Re: Cybercayecaulker.com]
elbert Offline
Originally Posted By Cybercayecaulker.com
As a side note, this was not a tour company based on Caye Caulker, but in Belize City. And to add to this, the Caye Caulker tour guides and tour operators have been complaining for YEARS and YEARS that the cruise ship tour operators do not have enough guides on their boats to comply with the rules, and their complaints go on deaf ears. Just my 2 cents.

Same is true with the San Pedro Guides Association, but we seem to be just a little further out than Caye Caulker and only suffer The SNUBA operation in Mexico Rocks. Cruise Ship tourist are not welcome and a big negative for the island. Sad this couple died and criminal if it gets swept under the rug.
_________________________
The Dive Shops Daily Blog
http://scubalessonsbelize.blogspot.com/

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#509428 - 11/25/15 12:16 PM Re: Cruise Visitor Drowns On Caye Caulker Tour [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Tour Operator Rejects Post Mortem Result

The owner of H2O Tierra tours rejects the post mortem results on tourist Edwin Simmons. As we have been reporting, 61 year old American tourist Edwin Simmons drowned trying to save his wife's life. Both Edwin Simmons and his wife Esther Simmons were on a tour at Shark Ray Alley in the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve. According to police, Simmons and his wife were both in the water but the sea current caused the wife - Esther - to drift away. Edwin Simmons went after his wife and that's when he disappeared. He was later found floating face down. Now as we told you Dr. Mario Estradabran certified cause of death to be "Asphyxiation by Drowning, Incidental".

But today when we spoke to the owner of H2O tours Tom Wilson he said he completely rejects Estradabran's report and will be getting results from the US. Wilson told us that he rejects it because the examination itself took only about 30 - 50 minutes and based on what he understands that examination should last 1 - 2 hours - so Wilson questions the veracity of that report and says he believes it was a medical event because the family says that Simmons is asthmatic. Apart from the report, Wilson also rejects the comments about his tour.

Yesterday someone who claims to have been on that same tour contacted us and said that the tour was very disorganized and that it was basically a safety hazard being out there. Well, Wilson told us his tour guides were well prepared. They had medical kits and 2 paramedics were on the tour as well. He also said that he always complies with the 8 guests to 1 tour guide regulation and that no one is allowed in the water without a swim vest. In terms of Simmons, Wilson told us that the family members revealed that Simmons was a strong swimmer.

The Tourism Board, which regulates tours still has not reported on the findings of its investigation.

Channel 7


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#509435 - 11/25/15 03:46 PM Re: Cruise Visitor Drowns On Caye Caulker Tour [Re: Marty]
Diane Campbell Offline
Assuming the family of the deceased may be reading this report, I'd like to say how deeply sorry I am for your loss. This has to be devastating. I am sure the other posters on this board share the sentiment.

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#509438 - 11/25/15 05:40 PM Re: Cruise Visitor Drowns On Caye Caulker Tour [Re: Marty]
ScubaLdy Offline
I have to wonder how this could happen when you can stand up most any where at Shark & Ray Alley.
_________________________
Harriette
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

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#509441 - 11/25/15 08:05 PM Re: Cruise Visitor Drowns On Caye Caulker Tour [Re: Marty]
elbert Offline
I think there is more than one Shark Ray Alley. Caye Caulker guys have created another....I believe.
_________________________
The Dive Shops Daily Blog
http://scubalessonsbelize.blogspot.com/

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#509442 - 11/25/15 08:17 PM Re: Cruise Visitor Drowns On Caye Caulker Tour [Re: Marty]
SimonB Offline
Yes, in front of Caye Caulker in the reserve.

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