Tour Company in hot water after tourist’s death - 03/25/11 03:39 PM
Gegg has hired two attorneys, Andrew Marsheleck and Naima Barrow, who appeared today in court and won an injunction on the revocation. Gegg told us tonight that the document presented in court by the BTB was a contradiction.
According to Gegg, he received a document from the BTB which stated that effective March 21, 2011, the revoking of his license would take effect. “They gave the illusion that I could reapply [for the license],” Gegg told us during a phone call tonight, “but that is not true.”
The reason for the revoking of Gegg’s license was the death of a United States tourist on February 2, 2011. The statement released by BTB late this evening states, “In the case of Cruise Solution Belize Limited, the BTB’s revocation of the company’s license, effective March 21st-28th, was based on an inquiry conducted by the BTB into the death of Mrs. Diana Mechling on February 2, 2011.”
Amandala contacted Director of the BTB, Miss. Seleni Matus who wouldn’t speak on the matter.
Meschling was vacationing in Belize along with her husband Michael Meschling, 61, and had gone out on a snorkeling expedition with the company Cruise Solutions Belize Limited when she received fatal injuries from the boat’s propeller.
According to the information we had received from our source about this incident, the tourists on the expedition were in the water when the engine was running and that Meschling received cuts to her lower pelvic and thigh area which resulted in her death.
On February 8, 2011, the Belize Port Authority issued a press release detailing the findings of their investigation in relation to Meschling’s death to which they stated that, the captain of the vessel, Martin Manuel Pariente, 55, was found to be negligent.
Pariente was charged, under the Harbours and Merchant Shipping Act, to have negligently caused loss of life.
“What they sought to do,” said Gegg, “was to put a company out of business who employs four hundred persons, because an employee of mine had made a mistake.”
Gegg says he has been in the tourism industry for 39 years.
Michael and Diana Mechling of Ohio came to Belize on a one day cruise in February. But their visit to the Jewel ended in tragedy when the couple went snorkeling at Goff’s Caye and Diana was slashed by the propellers of the tour boat. She was severely injured on her lower body and bled to death while being transported to Belize City for medical treatment. That was eight months ago and now, her husband is suing the Seattle-based cruise line, Holland America as well as the tour operator, Cruise Solutions Belize. Michael Mechling filed the wrongful death lawsuit this week in federal court in Ohio. He says his wife jumped into the water from the back of the boat on the instruction of the tour guides, but as the captain tried to steady the boat by reversing it, she was sucked underneath. After the incident, boat captain, Martin Pariente was charged with Negligently Causing Loss of Life and his boating license was revoked.