Tour Company in hot water after tourist’s death

Posted By: Marty

Tour Company in hot water after tourist’s death - 03/25/11 03:39 PM

[Linked Image] There’s a developing story in the tourism industry tonight. A major tour operating company has had its license revoked, at least temporarily. It follows the death of fifty-nine year old Diana Mechling on February second of this year. Mechling was killed when the propeller on the boat she had traveled on to Goff’s Caye slashed her right leg and pelvis while in the water. Mechling and her husband, Michael, were among a number of tourists who went on the expedition to snorkel at the tourist destination. An investigation was quickly launched by the Belize Port Authority, the Belize Tourism Board, and the Belize Police Department, after which, the captain of the vessel, Martin Pariente, was charged with Negligently Causing Loss of Life under the Harbors and Merchant Shipping Act. Pariente also lost his captain’s license indefinitely, and the vessel, Reef Rocket, operated by David Gegg’s Cruise Solutions, was banned from doing business pending further inquiries. The Belize Tourism Board revoked the license of Cruise Solutions, that went to court to get an injunction today. There’s also word that Mechling’s family will be suing Cruise Solutions. We’ll have more on this story in Friday’s news report.

Channel 5
Posted By: Marty

Re: Tour Company in hot water after tourist’s death - 03/26/11 04:09 PM

David Gegg challenges BTB’s revocation of his tour ops license

At press time tonight, David Gegg, of of Cruise Solutions Belize Limited, is fighting the revocation of his tour license by the Belize Tourism Board.

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.


Posted By: Marty

Re: Tour Company in hot water after tourist’s death - 10/21/11 01:37 PM

Local Cruise Operator In For Law Suit

A local tour operator is in for what should be a heavy lawsuit. In February Diane Mechling was killed when she was sucked into a boat's propeller at Goff's Caye.

Now, a Seattle newspaper reports that her husband has filed a lawsuit against Seattle-based cruise line Holland America and the Belize-based operator of the snorkeling excursion.

Diana Mechling bled to death after the blades slashed into her lower body.
Posted By: Marty

Re: Tour Company in hot water after tourist’s death - 10/21/11 01:46 PM

Tourist sues for death of wife on cruise

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.

Channel 5

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