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Re: Snorkeling Accident [Re: Bear] #435027
04/06/12 09:22 AM
04/06/12 09:22 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,718
Illinois, Arkansas,South Dakot...
bywarren Offline
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bywarren  Offline
OK Bear, but keep in mind the currents change on a hourly basis. One hour the currents can be mild. When there is the outgoing tide, they can be extreme. On the same windy day the outgoing tide can be dangerous but the incoming tide altogether different.
This is where the knowledge of the guide is important.
If you tried the idea of flags, to be accurate, it might necessitate changing them numerous times throughout the day which in my mind makes the idea unworkable.

Last edited by bywarren; 04/06/12 09:31 AM.
Re: Snorkeling Accident [Re: bywarren] #435037
04/06/12 10:18 AM
04/06/12 10:18 AM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,000
SW, MA / SW, FL
R
ragman Offline
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ragman  Offline
R
I was on the beach early that morning and it was very windy. One of the windiest days of this winter I would think. The tide was also very high and I had to walk up in the bush part of the way down the beach. Wether it was high tide or water inside the reef pushed up on the beach I'm not sure because that seems to be some thing that is different than normal tide flow back home. That was about 5 hours prior to the tragedy but....

I wonder how many snorkeling tours where canceled that morning? I'm hearing that there were some at least but I have no firsthand knowledge. If I had a trip planned that day I would not have went out and that morning I commented to a friend that morning how the wind was going to hurt the guide business at a busy time.


Jim
Formerly from somewhere on a beach in Belize
Re: Snorkeling Accident [Re: bywarren] #435039
04/06/12 10:37 AM
04/06/12 10:37 AM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,520
PACWest, SACSouth
Bear Offline
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Bear  Offline
Quote
OK Bear, but keep in mind the currents change on a hourly basis. One hour the currents can be mild. When there is the outgoing tide, they can be extreme. On the same windy day the outgoing tide can be dangerous but the incoming tide altogether different.This is where the knowledge of the guide is important. If you tried the idea of flags, to be accurate, it might necessitate changing them numerous times throughout the day which in my mind makes the idea unworkable.


I considered that before I made my suggestion bW. I think that in general there are going to be days when its simply not a good idea, based on the overall prevailing conditions, to allow people in the water; those are the days you target. You can get caught up in the minutiae of hour by hour conditions but from an enforcement and safety issue you need to, again, keep it simple.

To supplement Ragman's comments, the average wind speeds for that day and those hours (from the Mosquito Coast weather station, bless you Callum) were sustained between 15- 20 miles per hour. That's indicative to me of an overall condition. In fact Elbert's own morning observations well to the north indicated a tough day based on his own subjective opinion. I'm not saying Elbert is the say all know all in such matters, I'm simply saying a that guy who has been here a long time, with sufficient time on the water, felt there was enough empiric evidence from his observation to indicate a rough day. Currents may run strong or weak based on tides but the influence of wave action and wind affects those and are the components (imho) that perhaps made this day so perilous.

You'll notice that in Marty's post above his long time guide friend* mentioned coming back in over the reef, that's a bit tough to do with large wind driven waves constantly crashing over the reef ... you're not going to come go over that reef in a controlled fashion nor are you going to do so on your finger tips. Evidence that the reef was involved in at least one fatality is plain enough; whether before or after death, is yet to be determined.

*(whom I happen to think is a remarkable example and sets the standard for how a guide should prep his charges prior to Hol Chan)

Re: Snorkeling Accident [Re: MikeD] #435044
04/06/12 11:10 AM
04/06/12 11:10 AM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,191
bobcat bill Offline
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bobcat bill  Offline
i know the facts are that 2 tourists are deceased The why is what happened is what most of you are speculating on. The ideas of flags & other methods to warn of danger are great but too late. like closing the gate after the animals are on the loose. let us get a plan in place so this does not happen again

Re: Snorkeling Accident [Re: MikeD] #435055
04/06/12 02:34 PM
04/06/12 02:34 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 48
Texas
C
Colby Offline
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Colby  Offline
C
A buoy or system of buoys would be the best option here. Buoys placed in the center of the channel would allow the strength of the current to be seen from both above and below the surface. These could be installed quickly and inexpensively and would allow everyone the ability to see the conditions both in and out of the water. Once installed a rating system could be used to determine acceptable and safe limits based on the movements of these buoys. Hopefully this is something that is addressed quickly for the safety of all involved.

C-

Re: Snorkeling Accident [Re: Colby] #435061
04/06/12 03:26 PM
04/06/12 03:26 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,718
Illinois, Arkansas,South Dakot...
bywarren Offline
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bywarren  Offline
Maybe between the ex mayor and Ramons you could get a neon sign erected in the middle of the channel that would measure the current every few minutes and flash the appropriate warnings when not advertising something.
What ever happened to people being responsible and trained in their profession. It is a sad case when we have to have objects to control people. Like speed bumps because we can't get people to drive right and warning signs on docks because people can't drive boats responsibly. And now flags and buoys and what ever other ideas come up because some tour guides don't know their job. frown

Re: Snorkeling Accident [Re: MikeD] #435065
04/06/12 06:55 PM
04/06/12 06:55 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Asheville, NC USA
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
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Lan Sluder/Belize First  Offline
It's not as if this is a once-in-a-hundred-years event or as if everyone in the tourism business on Caulker or Ambergris is unaware that the currents at Hol Chan can be dangerous at times. Come on!

Re: Snorkeling Accident [Re: Lan Sluder/Belize First] #435066
04/06/12 07:03 PM
04/06/12 07:03 PM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 8,868
S
SP Daily Offline
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SP Daily  Offline
S
bywaren is doing his best to beat the place down...as usual.

Re: Snorkeling Accident [Re: SP Daily] #435067
04/06/12 07:24 PM
04/06/12 07:24 PM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 10,850
Beautiful San Marcos, Texas
E
Ernie B Offline
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Ernie B  Offline
E
bywarren is expressing and educated and real time fact, not beating anything down. You are the gloom and doom spokesman.


Gun Control is Hitting Your Target.
Re: Snorkeling Accident [Re: MikeD] #435081
04/06/12 08:05 PM
04/06/12 08:05 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,603
iluvbelize Offline
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iluvbelize  Offline
Jesse your commentary is not only irrelevant as to this serious issue, but grossly disrespectful to those whose lives have been lost or forever changed due to the incident. Thankfully for those who have lost more than we can imagine in this situation, you deleted your previous irrelevant grossly disrespectful comment after my post.

Last edited by iluvbelize; 04/06/12 08:14 PM.
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