Support the Wave Dancer victims

Posted By: tomjoad

Support the Wave Dancer victims - 03/30/02 04:04 AM

Dear Friends

If you are as troubled and disgusted as I am about the death of 20 Belizeans and Americans who were drowned on Peter Hughes Wave Dancer, please support Cyber Diver's CDNN ACT NOW campaign.

Apparently, government officials have already given permission to Peter Hughes to operate another boat in Belize as if nothing happened.

The CDNN ACT NOW campaign has an online form letter that you can sign and send to government officials in Belize and the US with just a click. It also contains some interesting articles about the tragedy, and an interview with a victim's relative.

To send the letter, go to:

Browse the site to read other material on the Wave Dancer

Posted By: Richard Chambers

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 03/30/02 06:43 AM

I wouldn't worry, if Peter Hughes and his alleged "mismanagement" of the Wave Dancer,or his crew, are recognized, neither he or his money will survive! Time will tell on this issue.

[This message has been edited by Richard Chambers (edited 03-29-2002).]

[This message has been edited by Richard Chambers (edited 04-02-2002).]
Posted By: JmHanna

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 03/30/02 07:17 AM

I have no comment except,(I usually have one so why would today be any different?)Manateewatch-give me an email address as you desperately need some enlightening.

[This message has been edited by Pier Lounge (edited 04-05-2002).]
Posted By: seashell

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 03/30/02 09:14 AM

There are, of course, questions as to the handling of the Wave Dancer at the time. Regardless, it should be noted that Cyber Diver is not noted for being an unbiased outfit.
Posted By: manateewatch

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 03/30/02 05:51 PM

Dear Jim of Pier Lounge

Having read the almost completely factually 100% wrong garbage you put here
I did a search of your other posts on this board. Many of them consist of you telling other people to shut up. So, why don't you already?

You constantly claim to be a champion of the message board etiquette but you always break the rules of politeness that Mr. Marty has posted, even to the point of physically threatening other board members when you don't get or don't like their jokes.

You even started a post a few weeks ago that was completely off the wall and in left field about the soma151 lunatic threatening YOU but begged Mr. Marty to remove your own thread after 16 or 17 replies. What is wrong, did you not like the heat in the kitchen you built?

And you are such a liar. To the best of my belief we did not lose 10 people in the whole country of Belize during Hurricane Keith, let alone 10 of "YOUR" personal friends. Did your construction "business" or bar go out of business because of Keith? No, far from it. So you did not lose your livlihood as you claim.

I went through Keith as well and I looked my wife in the eyes and said "Everything will be fine." You try not to scare the ones you love.

And as for the Wave Dancer sinking during Hurricane Iris: every thinking Belizean knows that the captain of the Wave Dancer made a careless life threatening decision. He should have taken the offers of free bus evacuation provided by caring, concerned Belizeans to secure shelters on dry land he was offered. His passengers and crew paid for it. The Aggressor captain made the same stupid choice and got lucky.

So, Pier Lounge Jim, next time you post your negative rudeness on this board try to make sure that at least you won't be caught in a bare faced lie and make sure you get your facts right.

For everyone else, if it is important and relevant and you want to put it here don't let Pier Lounge Jim and his kind stop you.
Posted By: Bob Goodman

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/02/02 12:29 AM

Seashell's comment: "There are, of course, questions as to the handling of the Wave Dancer at the time."

And in the diving world, Cyber Diver is the only one asking those questions. If that kind of commitment to public safety is the Cyber Diver bias, PLEASE GIVE US MORE OF THE SAME!!!

I am supporting the CDNN ACT NOW campaign because Cyber Diver is right: Allowing someone who is under investigation for criminal negligence in the deaths of 20 people to continue doing business as if nothing happened is reprehensible.
Posted By: seashell

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/02/02 12:55 AM

So your attitude is hang 'em first and then determine their guilt?

Ya know Bob, I don't think I've seen you post here before. It is only now in support of Cyberdiver that you show up. I'll give you as much validity as I do that biased rag.
Posted By: Debbie

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/02/02 02:45 AM

Forgive my ignorance....
I don't include Belize in the group labeled, "backwards third world country" so I find it puzzling.... Does Belize NOT consider someone innocent until PROVEN guilty??? NOt judging either way, for I have insufficient information here, but I am curious....
Posted By: karin

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/02/02 03:15 AM

According to the letter posted on Cyber Diver website, we should all stop going to Belize until the Belize government honors their requests. Sorry but I believe Belizean people deserve better. I never had the slightest problem diving with Belizean divemasters, and will keep doing it. Maybe instead of boycotting Belize, they should focus on Peter Hughes....
Posted By: Bob Goodman

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/02/02 03:15 AM

From Seashell: "So your attitude is hang 'em first and then determine their guilt?"

Don't be stupid. My attitude is thoroughly investigate 'em and if there is evidence of criminal negligence, proceed accordingly. If that is what you call 'bias', I take it as an honor to be included with Cyber Diver and anyone else you want to bash for supporting the families by demanding a thorough investigation rather than a whitewash.

Seashell: "Ya know Bob, I don't think I've seen you post here before. It is only now in support of Cyberdiver that you show up. I'll give you as much validity as I do that biased rag."

My post is in support of the families of the 20 people who died aboard Wave Dancer including one of best friends.

Don't allow your love for Cyber Diver to poison your mind. This is about the victims and their families--not about your bias against the one scuba magazine that has actually covered the tragedy. Talk about bias? The other scuba magazines either ignored it altogether or published Hughes' freak accident press releases and nothing else. Is that what you prefer?
Posted By: seashell

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/02/02 07:56 AM

Bob Goodman, say hi to Carla for me.

Ladies and Gents, I'd like to introduce you to Carla/Bob and probably also known as tomjoad. Cyberdiver promoter and nut extraordinaire.
Posted By: seashell

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/02/02 02:39 PM

Oh yeah, and I forgot at least one more persona that goes by "PhatCat".
Posted By: Gaz Cooper

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/03/02 12:45 AM

I thought people were presumed innocent unil proven guilty,

While the deaths are absolutely trajic I feel Peter Hughs diving deserves h day in court to allow his peers to determine whether there was negligence or not.

It is not for us to condemn someone without being privvy to the EXACT details which will only be known once this gets to court, anything prior to the actual hearing is HERESAY only and a person cannot be condemened on heresay alone.

Only after the courts decision can you be justified in a boycott campaign

best regards

Gaz Cooper
Posted By: seashell

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/03/02 01:17 AM

I'm sorry to tell you this gang but it sure looks to me like we've got another *one* on our hands. I'm positive that Bob Goodman is the intenet persona also known as Carla, Phatcat and probably tomjoad. The reason this is bad is because he/she is a bit off their pedestal. You know what I mean, like soma but more eloquent. Fortunately, this is a moderated board and so we'll only be breifly exposed to it.
Posted By: rickcheri

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/03/02 02:23 AM

I totally agree with ya... We don't know all the facts, we were not there.. I feel for the families and their loss, but it was their choice to be there. They are in a better place now..
And for this letter to ban Belize, all I have to say to that is BS..
Belize is just not for divers, but for people who enjoy the attitude there, jungles, eco-tourism, etc.. There will be no ban from us....
Posted By: Debbie

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/03/02 05:15 AM

I won't boycott a damned thing!! This is a childish attititude for something that no one REALLY knows anything about. Thank you Gaz for addressing my question and for speaking so eloquently. Also to Rick and Cheri for pointing out that not only divers go to Belize. They were there by choice. Sad, but true. And I thank God that most of the world doesn't hang people from the nearest tree for accidents......
Posted By: bywarren

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/03/02 05:21 PM

I have some concerns about the way you all are proceeding with this important topic. I see too many similarities with the "Blue Hole Deaths" topic that was debated extensively. It seems to me that many of you fall into the catagory that suggests that no matter what happens in Belize, let's not questions the actions of those involved. Let's just say "accidents happen, shit happens, acts of God happen". I believe that Belize will be much better off if fewer "accidents" happen. Many times people have the ability to prevent accidents from happening thru their knowledge, abilities and training. And, the best way for that to be is for people to be held accountible for their actions. That can only happen when those actions that cause injury and death to others are fully analized and questioned. I do not think it furthers this to call people who have stated a valid position names and suggest that it is in the best interest of the board for those people not to participate. Bob Goodman made, in my opinion, some vaild points. I do not agree that it is appropriate to support a boycott of Belize. But, I do think it is the goverments resposibility to investigate the incident in question and take whatever actions are in the best interest of protecting the people of Belize and those who visit. The goverment promised a full investigation with a report to be presented by last December. I have not seen or heard of the results of that investigation as yet. And, it is my position that it is premature to allow Peter Hughes to resume opperation in Belize until he and his operation are determined to have acted and will act in the future in ways that protect those who put their safety in his hands. As to the incident in question, I have difficulty accepting that it was an "act of nature or an accident". It would be that if a ship were sailing in the middle of the ocean and had no knowlegdge that it was sailing into a storm. When a ship leaves port knowing a hurricane in approaching and decides to keep the passangers and crew on board when shelter on high ground was available leads me to question those decisions. Those are the "facts" that we all have. It was the decision of the captain that caused those deaths. If he had decided to evaquate to higher ground, which by the way is standard procedure reccomended by the National Hurricane Center to evacuate low and coatal areas when a hurricane is approaching, the outcome would have been different. I would hope that the captain has the opportuntity, either thru a goverment inquery or court of law, to explain his decisions. That is owed to not only the victims families, but also to Belize and anyone who would consider putting their safety in his hands in the future. That is what is in the best interest of Belize.

[This message has been edited by bywarren (edited 04-03-2002).]
Posted By: seashell

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/03/02 09:39 PM

bywarren, I don't believe that anyone here is saying that the investigation should *not* be thoroughly completed and that a full analysis is *not* necessary. This definitely *should* be done and people should be trying to find out what stage that investigation and analysis is at.

Now having said that, with regard to Bob Goodman, I am not calling him/her names. I am telling you that this character carries the virtually unmistakable fingerprints of a character I've seen elsewhere on the net. I am telling you that the character I believe Bob Goodman to be (also known as Carla & Phatcat, etc) is a wingnut that has caused all kinds of havoc and is more than eligible for the white jacket with the really long sleeves. (in other words, should be sharing a room at the resthome with soma) I am also telling you that Cyberdiver is to dive magazines (internet or otherwise) what Star and National Enquirer are to the New York Times, Time Magazine and National Geographic, etc. If that is not clear enough for you, Cyberdiver is a sensationalist internet rag, oft referred to by others in the dive world as Slimerdiver or Slanderdiver.
Posted By: tomjoad

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/03/02 10:16 PM

Obviously "seashell", critical or independent thinking is not your strong suit.

Just read the interview with the father of the dive instructor who died aboard wave dancer.

Is that "National Inquirer?

Whatever you and your "dive industry" cronies might think about CyberDiver, it remains the only source available of news and information that is not 100% censored and spun by industry schills who depend upon industry advertising revenue for their existence - hardly credibele sources of "unbiased" news!

If those infomercials are your recommended source of credible information about all things diving, one must seriously question the motives behind your naive responses to my original post.

Peter Hughes & Co. made a whole series of incredibly stupid and irresponsible decisions leading up to the Wave Dancer tragedy. That is obvious to anyone with half a brain - there are no possible secret extenuating circumstances that could possibly justify those decisions.

You can wait around for government to tell you how to think and what to believe, but you should relally try using youir own brain every now and then. Keeps it working properly.

Sure, Hughes deserves his day in court - and then he deserves to be found guilty as charged.

Posted By: bywarren

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/03/02 11:07 PM

seashell, I do not know where you got your education, but you might want to see about getting a refund. You state in one sentence that you are not calling Bob Goodman names and then in the next sentence you refer to him as a "wingnut" and someone who should be in a straight jacket. If you re-read my posts, you will see nothing in them in support of Cyberdiver which you obviously despise and seem to be using this thread as a means of venting your anger. My comments were that Bob Goodman had some valid points in calling for further investigation of the instance which you are now also suggesting. If that is your position, then I guess you, Bob Goodman, Cyberdiver and I are in agreement. Maybe we can get a volume discount at whatever nut house you feel we should all check into.
Posted By: BankerWoman

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/03/02 11:44 PM

bywarren: When you and your "friends" tool off to that big happy house, would you leave me your share of the Whitey's??? (Sorry folks - inside Quad-Citier joke...)
Posted By: bywarren

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/03/02 11:50 PM

You got it Bankerwoman. Look me up when you get here.
Posted By: Bob Goodman

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/04/02 01:37 AM

My name is Bob Goodman. I join the families of the victims and Cyber Diver in demanding a full investigation of the Wave Dancer deaths. I urge people to support the families of the Wave Dancer victims by going to and sending the letter. I do so because one of my friends died on the Wave Dancer and deserves better than a cover up of what may or may not be criminal negligence. I don't know why "seashell" is filled with so much hate and anger, but I do know that she is wrong to try to disparage me and Cyber Diver and everyone else who wants justice for the families who lost their loved ones.
Posted By: seashell

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/04/02 02:34 AM

bywarren, by gosh you are right. My mistake and my apologies!

By the way, I don't despise Cyberdiver, but you could certainly say I hold them in distain. And as to my previous remarks in this regard, feel free to cruise some other dive boards and see what you see other divers saying. You might also make note that Cyberdiver (also known here as tomjoad & Bob Goodman and to me also known as Carla and Phatcat) appears to hold *all* of the other dive mags in distain.

I also don't dispise the entity known here as tomjoad or Bob Goodman. That said however, their alterego Carla created complete and utter havoc on another site and had to be shut down by its ISP. This causes me concern for our wonderful board here and I felt it incumbent upon me to give fair warning.

I'll say no more about the foregoing. And we shall see what we shall see.

I will also emphasize that none of my remarks concerning the entity known here as tomjoad and Bob Goodman and/or Cyberdiver have *any* relationship to my feelings about the tragedy.

Make no mistake and please don't confuse the two very separate issues. I feel very deeply for the loss of our friends and the suffering of their families and have read a number of their stories in numerous places over the past months (and if I recall correctly even here on this board).

[This message has been edited by seashell (edited 04-03-2002).]
Posted By: manateewatch

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/04/02 05:09 AM

While I would defend Bob Goodman's right to make his point on this message board I would never sign the letter in its present form.

It would be better if the letter merely made the point that people who sign it are concerned that this wholly avoidable incident should not be swept under the carpet.

Boycotting travel to a whole country because of one incident is silly, Bob Goodman.

And Seashell, you are starting to sound like YOU are the crazy message board person. Could you please tone it down a bit for us gentle manatees?
Posted By: tomjoad

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/04/02 05:47 AM

HYpocritical seashell, to say the least.

You think CyberDiver is being unfair by pointing blame at Peter Hughes before "all the facts are in", right?

Then why are you justified in making accusations on no basis whatsoever - other than your own unsupported suspicions?

FYI I never heard of "Bob Goodman" until he posted on this thread, have no idea of who "Carla" might be ( she is not even involved in this thread), and I have no connnection whatsoever with CyberDiver.

So you are running off at the mouth with a series of "guilty until proven innocent" tirades, and are 0 for three.

Why the double standard?
Posted By: MyBelize

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/04/02 06:28 AM

seashell should shut up & stop insulting everythings and everybodies she doesn't like--she's not adding inteligence here. Shes making me think why so many belizeans are going sour about the forieners always telling us what's best for belize. many belizeans could support this boycott to stop foreiners killing belizeans. And tom joad is not bob goodman--anybody understands that and cyberdiver is not national inquriey. I checked--here is the list I got right from the cyberdiver's news pages. its mostly serious talking about the ecologies, safety and dive gear plus some opinions--I like it so far as what I'm reading--but everyone should decide by checking cyberdiver--not listen to broken seashells

sorry because I forgot the list--it's these news

AUSTRALIA - Ecologists back periodic closure of Great Barrier Reef

BELIZE - Subaquatics upgrades hyperbaric chamber facilities

AUSTRALIA - Great white shock: SeaChange's electronic shark repellant

USA - MSG targets marine mammal issues in letter to NOAA

PALAU - The Road to Ruin: US, Japanese developers zero in on Palau

USA - Is human waste killing Florida's manatees, dolphins, whales?

USA - Assault of the Killer Seaweed - California Battles Back

AUSTRALIA - New diagnosis for bends could save lives, money

USA - Marine scientists call for strict bottom trawling regulations

USA - NOAA cracks down on llegal fishers in Florida's Tortugas reserve

CDNN ACT NOW - Demand accountability for the Wave Dancer deaths

CDNN INTERVIEW - Tom Stark on the Wave Dancer deaths

USA - Shark attacks snorkerler near illegal Florida shark feeding dive site

NEW ZEALAND - Major fish poaching ring busted

FRANCE - United Nations campaign targets dive tourism, fish feeding damage to coral reefs

OPINION - Paradise Screwed: Spiegel Grove and the Florida Keys

USA - Human harassment threatens marine mammals

USA - New study pinpoints coral reef conservation hotspots

USA - PADI sues Diverlink, Eddie Rhodes for libel

PHILIPPINES - Poachers busted at Tubbataha World Heritage Site

COSTA RICA - Shark poachers busted, boat seized, captain jailed

GALAPAGOS - Tourism threatens Galapagos Islands

USA - Environmentalists sue NOAA, NMFS over shark fishing

KENYA - Marine life dying en masse: "Red Tide" likely culprit

BONAIRE - Bon Bini dive boat sinks, tragedy narrowly averted

USA - DEMA's legal challenge to shark feeding suffers another setback

GALAPAGOS - Divers film rare albino shark

MARSHALL ISLANDS - Research diver finds WWII B-25D Mitchell bomber in Mili Lagoon

THAILAND - Huge oil slick under control

HAWAII - Aquaculture breakthrough could help save reef fishes

HAWAII - Tourism crashes, $1 billion decline worst in state's history

BAHAMAS - Shark attack victim blames Our Lucaya, Unexso

INDIA - Vast sunken city found off India: Experts stunned

ANTARCTICA - Wiser eyes: Scientists let Weddell seals "do the walkin"

AUSTRALIA - Who really killed Bluey, Australia's super-star grouper?

CDNN ACT NOW - Ban shark feeding in Hawaii

USA - DAN to Skin Diver: Get that slut off my magazine!

HAWAII - State officials moves to ban shark feeding

USA - Is El Nino coming back?

USA - DEMA trade show group announces new BOD

OPINION - The sound of silence: NAUI kills environmental report

USA - Virgin birth of bonnethead shark baffles scientists

OPINION - A Tale of Two Aggressors: The Hype and the Reality

USA - Did fish feeding cause recent shark, grouper attacks?

USA - It's official - shark feeding now illegal in Florida


[This message has been edited by MyBelize (edited 04-03-2002).]
Posted By: susangg

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/04/02 10:32 AM

The behavior of the Hughes Corporation and its overpaid (and under-trained) "captains" was inexcusably negligent, bordering on criminal negligence. Especially abhorrent was the pressure placed upon employees to continue into the hurricane or be fired.
A campaign calling for divers to boycott the Hughes fleet is certainly appropriate.

However, Cyberdiver is way out of line asking people to boycott the country of Belize.

The people of Belize are not responsible for this tragedy. They had no say in the matter. In fact, numerous Belizeans urged the captains of the two boats (one of which was the Hughes Wave Dancer) to bring their passengers to safety and repeatedly offered them shelter. The Belize media has publicized the true facts and has debunked the lies and lame excuses offered by Hughes Corp.

So, why is Cyberdiver calling for a campaign against the people of Belize, rather than against the Hughes Corporation? What did the tourism operators in Belize do to deserve such punishment? Why not boycott Hughes and encourage people to come to Belize and go diving with local operators?

A boycott is a powerful weapon, but should not be used mindlessly. Anyone who knows anything about Belize (and if you are going to institute a boycott, you should make it your business to learn) knows that licenses to operate businesses are issued or not issued based upon who is demonstrating proper "gratitude" towards the government honchos with the power to issue them, which has nothing to do with safe practices or the lack thereof, nor with the opinion of the people in the community. The tourism community has no power to impact what the government does, any more than they have the power to stop the government from granting monopolies or making gifts of public funds to its "grateful" friends.

And why single out Belize? What about all the other countries who have continued to allow Hughes to operate, although they know that the company allows greed to overrule safety concerns?

CyberDiver does the cause of safety no good by calling for a boycott of Belize tourism, and is alienating the very people who should be supporting them: the diving and tourism community in Belize.
Posted By: rickcheri

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/04/02 03:26 PM

So many "judgements" of these people and their you think he made his choices because he wanted to die???? Maybe he acted in the way he "felt" was best.....but never thought the end result would lead to these consequences??? Have you never made a choice where the outcome was most unpleasant???? The people who were lost in "Keith"....they could have lived, lots of people did, but their choices had bad outcomes!! You NEVER know what a hurricane might do!!! ESPECIALLY in these more recent times when they can turn on the weather forecasters info, in mere minutes! People make it sound like he did this on purpose!!! It was a tragic accident where the consequences were death..I am very sorry for your losses and send you strenght and the ability to forgive what cannot be changed!! C......P.S. Nobody needs to shut up...opinions are just that!!
Posted By: bywarren

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/04/02 06:14 PM

It concerns me that so many people are willing to call this an accident and leave it there. An accident is when unitentional or unintended acts cause injury or death. If it were intended, the captain would be guilty of murder. It is reasonable to assume that he did not intend that. That said, a captain is resposible for the safety of his passangers and crew and when his decisions fail in that responsibilty his actions must be scrutinized to see if they were just bad decisions, irresponsible decisions, negeligent decision or criminaly negeligent decisions. Being a pilot, I offer this analogy. If I fly an airplane into a storm and crash, there would be an investigation. The outcome would be that the accident was caused by pilot error. My actions were the contributing factors that allowed the accident to happen. My actions would then be analized to determin if I should have known better and under what circumstances I could have acted to prevent the crash. If it were determined that I had the knowledge and ability to have made decisions that would have prevented the crash, then I would be held responsible. I could not get by just blaming it on the storm. Just like a captain of a ship, I was trained to avoid accidents and am required to do so. As far as Belize, where is the Belize Tourism Board and where are the other responsible people involved in tourism? I am not hearing much in the line of calling for a full investigation and scrutinizing of Peter Hughes operations before allowing him back in Belize. My questions to those are, are you only interested in getting as many tourist to Belize as possible? Or, are you interested in seeing that the tourist you attract here are treated in safe and responsible ways? To me your silence or your willingness to just say accidents happen, is concerning. The Belize Goverment should be acting more responsibly than they appear to. And those who's livelyhood and responsibility is the tourist should be outspoken on this. There would be less of call for consumer actions against you if you did so. Again, I think that would be in the long term best interest for Belize, it's people and the tourism industry.
PS: For you people who are trying to dismiss this by saying "innocent until proven guilty", you are totally off base. Innocent until proven guilty refers to someone charged with a crime. There has been no criminal charges as yet. What is important now is the investigation to determine if there are criminal or negligent actions and the importance of all in cooperating with that. My question is, where is the captain and what is his cooperation in this?

[This message has been edited by bywarren (edited 04-04-2002).]
Posted By: Bob Goodman

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/05/02 01:10 AM

Either susangg did not read the CDNN ACT NOW campaign or she needs a refresher course in basic reading skills. Cyber Diver has not asked the diving public to join a boycott of Belize. Here's what Cyber Diver says:


"Write government officials in Belize and the United States and demand full and open accountability for Peter Hughes Diving, and justice for the families of the Wave Dancer victims. You may use this letter or write your own. Be sure to fill in your name and home or business address in the body of the letter. Finally, enter your correct email address and click on ACT NOW. The letter will automatically be sent to all of the recipients listed at the top of the letter."

Clearly, Cyber Diver is urging people to speak out on behalf of accountability and justice, NOT A BOYCOTT. They leave it to you as to how much leverage you want to attach to your letter.

In my case, I cut some of the letter and added my own personal thoughts but I left the final paragraph stating that I will not travel to Belize until a proper investigation has been completed. Consumer boycotts are only effective if those who are targeted understand that there a price to be paid for ignoring (in this case) public safety. I'm sorry if that bothers some of you but it's how I feel. I will not go to Belize until it is clear to me that government officials have not been paid off to ignore the deaths of 20 people including two Belizeans and my friend.

Cyber Diver has left it open to each of you to respond according to your own conscience. Based on what many of you have said here, you agree with Cyber Diver that we must at least "demand full and open accountability for Peter Hughes Diving, and justice for the families of the Wave Dancer victims."

Please listen to your hearts and join this campaign so that the lives of the 20 people who died on the Wave Dancer are not lost in vain.


I just want to add that targeting government officials in Belize (and Washington) is appropriate for two reasons:

1. Government officials in Belize (not Hughes) are responsible for ensuring that a complete and thorough investigation is conducted into the causes of the Wave Dancer deaths.

2. Boycotting Hughes before a proper investigation has been completed is nothing more than a public lynching. Wisely I believe, Cyber Diver has targeted government officials, not Hughes.

Having said that, it is my personal opinion at this time based upon the available evidence that Hughes is not a responsible boat operator. Everything, including the decision to resume operations in Belize just a few weeks after 20 people were drowned aboard Wave Dancer, points to corporate greed and criminal negligence. I will NEVER book a trip aboard a Peter Hughes dive boat.

[This message has been edited by Bob Goodman (edited 04-04-2002).]
Posted By: susangg

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/05/02 06:40 AM

Bob: I don't know how much contact you have with Belize. I have been coming to Belize for eleven years and my husband and I have owned property there for almost that long. I suspect that I know more about Belize than you, but since I don't know "who" you are, I cannot be sure.
We agree that Hughes engaged in gross misconduct. However, what you lack understanding of (and the letter I read at the Cyberdiver site DID call for a boycott, of travel to Belize; perhaps its now been altered, if so I am glad of that) is a basic understanding of how the Belize government operates, and who would be harmed by the proposed boycott.
If your contention is that tourists should not visit places where there is government corruption, I hope you like staying home, because that is where you will be doing your diving! I don't know many places in the world where there is no corruption, or where governments make bad decisions based on questionable criteria. (Even the US...perhaps we should call for a boycott of US tourism because our corrupt Congress has refused to make airlines safet to fly.)
As I attempted to explain to you, the Belize government does not make decisions on matters like who to issue permits to based upon either the views of its citizens or safety practices.
These liveaboards bring very little money into the Belize economy. We should be encouraging people to come to Belize, stay somewhere locally, and go on day trips with the many fine dive operators on Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, Placencia Peninsula, etc. and refrain from booking a trip on liveaboards. I can guarantee you that nothing any government does will cause corporations like Hughes to become more safety conscious...but the buying public can influence them by not buying.
Again, I urge you to focus your calls for a boycott on the people who they are most likely to affect and who are responsible for what happened.
Posted By: Bob Goodman

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/05/02 08:55 PM

Susan, I get the impression you are looking for an excuse not to participate in an open-ended campaign that calls for justice and accountability. Such apathy will do nothing to support Belize's tourism industry.

Or maybe you are just confused about how this consumer action campaign works. The targeted officials receive letters from many individuals as opposed to one letter from Cyber Diver signed by many individuals. While it is true that the vast majority of participants will probably send the sample letter as written stating that the sender will not visit Belize until designated officials fulfill their responsibilities to investigate the Wave Dancer deaths, many will also change the letter (as I did) to suit their own requirements. As I mentioned in my previous post, Cyber Diver encourages participants to do exactly that. Read again Cyber Diver's instructions about how to use the CDNN ACT NOW form (which you seem to have missed in my previous post):


"Write government officials in Belize and the United States and demand full and open accountability for Peter Hughes Diving, and justice for the families of the Wave Dancer victims. You may use this letter or write your own. Be sure to fill in your name and home or business address in the body of the letter. Finally, enter your correct email address and click on ACT NOW. The letter will automatically be sent to all of the recipients listed at the top of the letter."

There is nothing here about being required to send the letter as written or an obligation to endorse a consumer boycott. So rewrite it and send it to reflect your opinion that Hughes was grossly negligent and should be investigated.

In my case, I sent the letter with some changes, however, I left the final paragraph which states that I will not visit Belize until government officials fulfill their responsibilities to thoroughly investigate the Wave Dancer deaths.

The argument some people make against boycotts (and trade sanctions) demonstrates why they are so effective. The fact that boycotts inflict financial pain is exactly why they can make a difference that benefits everyone in the long run. Look at South Africa and Fiji to understand why apathetic or corrupt officials make positive changes when they are made to understand that unacceptable policies will not be tolerated.

In this case, the question is whether the diving community will accept apathy or corruption in Belize that necessarily endangers their lives. I certainly hope not. Governments and their maritime safety agencies are responsible for ensuring that commercial passenger carrying vessels comply with safety certification requirements. They are responsible for investigating the causes of injury or death aboard the vessels they certify to carry passengers for a fee. When they fail to fulfill their responsibilities and obligations to the public, everyone is affected and the damage is often far worse than the impact of a consumer boycott.

You are dead wrong when you state that government officials cannot force operators of commercial passenger vessels to comply with their safety requirements. And I suspect many in the diving community have already concluded that the Wave Dancer deaths stemmed from problems inherent not only to how Peter Hughes operates his vessels, but to apathetic or corrupt government officials in Belize. The appearance of government maritime safety authorities winking at Peter Hughes after the deaths of 20 people only serves to drive safety-conscious dive travelers elsewhere.

That's why, if you want to support the Belize tourism industry, you will also support Cyber Diver's campaign demanding justice and accountability.

Bob Goodman
Posted By: bywarren

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/05/02 09:05 PM

Well stated Bob Goodman. I am surprised to hear such sensable words coming from a "wingnut, straight jacket wearing nut who needs to be locked up somewhere". LOL
Posted By: susangg

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/06/02 01:32 AM

Well Bob...Like I said, I don't "know" you but I'll betcha that I was organizing political actions and compaigns when you were still a gleam in your mama's eye..

The problem is not MY lack of understanding of the power of the boycott or of letter writing..the problem is YOUR lack of understanding of how the Belizeans who are involved in the tourism industry live and work. Your knowledge seems (again, I don't "know" you) to be from a long distance vantage point.

I would like to invite you to sit down with one of the local dive boat owners, who has put in his time working as crew, saving his money for 10 years until he could buy his own boat and launch his own business...and tell him why you want to bankrupt him because you don't like something the Belize government did or did not do. Ask him if he thinks its a cool idea to do that.
If you are not willing to do that you oughtn't to be calling for a boycott.

You see, when you call for boycotts, you need to move out of the world of the theoretical and into the real world of the day to day working person and see how your plan will impact him or her.
You should also be willing to take some guidance from the local people before you start "helping" them. Ask THEM what they think of your plans.

If there was a desire by Belizeans to have gringos like you start a boycott of Belize to protest abuses by liveaboard companies, don't you think you would know about it?
How many ordinary working folk in the tourist industry have told you they support such a boycott? I will bet its a big fat ZERO.
Take a lesson from one of the most successful boycotts in history: the Alabama bus boycott. Do you think it would have been successful if it had been started by white people from outside? No! It worked because the decision to boycott was made by the local community, who weighed the risks and benefits and started to march ahead.

If you want to launch a boycott of an American company, or a letter writing campaign to urge the Belize government to impose conditions upon re-licensing that company, that's fine. But supporting a boycott of the working people of Belize is not appropriate unless the Belizeans want you to do that.

And I don't think they do. I don't think you've asked them. And that is my point.
Posted By: bywarren

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/06/02 02:29 AM

Bob,Susangg, et al: I am disapointed that this discussion has turned into a debate on the credibility of Cyberdiver and the effects and or need for a boycott of Belize. The original post adressed the concerns that the investigation, or lack of, and the allowing of Peter Hughes to resume operations before the completion of and findings of the investigation were finished. It seems that most of the people contributing to this discussion have a common goal, what is best for Belize and the people who visit Belize. I look at what a person writes. It does not matter to me if, or how many times, he has visited Belize or what his nationality is. If that were the criteria, Piasano would have the last word. This is a very important subject that deserves imput from as many people that care to. So, let's keep the debate going and try to focus on the objecitves that are important. It might be a case of the end justifies the means, and it doe's not matter who the messanger is, if the message is correct.
Posted By: Chloe

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/06/02 04:47 AM

All of us are reading, but not replying.
Keep us updated on the information. Thanks
Posted By: Bob Goodman

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/06/02 04:50 AM

I agree Warren and I also appreciate your positive contribution to this discussion. It is an extremely important issue and I have carefully avoided being lured into meaningless and distracting comparisons based on 'who got here first', 'who has been here the longest', etc. There is far too much of this posturing on message boards and as you suggest, such crude strategems tend to impede the discussion rather than persuade.

My advice to Susan would be to climb down off the anti-boycott soapbox before it collapses under the weight of scrutiny. It should be obvious to you and everyone else following this discussion that I am not "calling for a boycott". If you carefully review the CDNN ACT NOW campaign, you will understand that neither is Cyber Diver.

Each of us must do what our conscience dictates and Cyber Diver has left us plenty of latitude to do exactly that.

Susan, correct me if I am wrong but I have the distinct impression that you will not participate in any campaign that even begins to suggest that things are not as they should be in Belize. Your fixation on the final sentence or two of Cyber Diver's sample letter as if it were chiseled in stone appears to be a smokescreen to cover up the same moral deficiency that has apparently led authorities in Belize to cave into business interests, rather than conduct a thorough investigation of what caused so many deaths aboard the Wave Dancer.

It's very sad and disappointing when people become so obsessed with business as usual and the bottom line that they are willing to overlook fundamental problems that threaten public safety.

Twenty people died in Belize last October aboard a commercial passenger carrying vessel inspected, certified and registered by the government of Belize. The dead deserve more than a wink from maritime safety authorities who appear to share your concern about disrupting Belize's tourism industry.

As I have already suggested, the irony is that killing the investigation will do far more to harm Belize's tourism industry. That's why you should get off your soapbox and support the CDNN ACT NOW campaign with a letter that will tell authorities exactly why YOU feel an investigation of the Peter Hughes Wave Dancer deaths is imperative.

Posted By: Richard Chambers

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/06/02 05:35 AM

Gotta love this board!
You all know what they say about opinions,
.................Everyone has one!!
Posted By: susangg

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/07/02 04:14 AM

WellgGee Bob Goodman...I guess you've BUSTED me!
yup, that's me..."morally deficient," business-as-usual-bottom-line-obsessed, non-government-criticizing, cover-up-supporting,non-shit-disturbing little old me....I guess you got me!
Posted By: ckocian

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/07/02 05:15 AM

LOL, Susan. Whyn't blow the guy away with your real signature?
Posted By: MyBelize

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/07/02 03:43 PM

You mean susans signatures for condo rental businesses? She don't talk for belizeans--never forget it.

Born in Belize
Posted By: ckocian

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/07/02 04:52 PM

Oh, dear. We've awakened Mr Amos and he's a mite grumpy this morning. Take your medicine, Mr. Amos, and you'll feel much better.
Posted By: kathyw

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/08/02 06:08 PM

Posted By: Bob Goodman

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/15/02 01:39 PM

Just the nature of the beast...
Posted By: Chloe

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/15/02 03:39 PM

Also, we that get to wake up, it is a new DAY.

[This message has been edited by Chloe (edited 04-15-2002).]
Posted By: sweetjane

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/16/02 02:30 AM

if chloe is saying what i think she is; 'life is too short' and 'move on', i'm with her.
Posted By: Chloe

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/16/02 06:22 AM

No that was not what I meant.
But life is short.
Moving on, does not apply here.
New Day, meaning, everyone has opinions, and those can change daily.
The people that lost their lives that day, does not wake up each day now.
Posted By: sweetjane

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/16/02 03:06 PM

of course, i did not mean any disrespect to those who lost friends or family.

i am uneducaterd on this matter, and will just stay out of it.
Posted By: kathyw

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/16/02 10:36 PM

How can you change your mind about loosing 10 of your best friends, or having your business destroyed? Sorry, it just sounds like someone got caught up in little white lies.
Posted By: seashell

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 04/17/02 06:24 AM

kathyw, I'm probably digging myself another hole here but I'm going to try to answer your post anyway.

It seems to me that as time goes by with these posts, from time to time, each and every or any of us, may find ourselves wishing we'd said something differently, expressed ourselves better or just flat not bothered to try and express ourselves at all.

Since these post last virtually forever, it is not unusual that someone might start to reconsider what they'd said, or decided that they'd prefer to take a conversation private.

Editing a own post may mean that a person was fixing spelling, grammar or it may mean something more like reorganizing one's expression.

Further, that is to say, it may also mean that a person had considered his/her personal thoughts that had gone down on the cyber world and decided that she/he didn't want them there in perpetuity.

Interestingly enough, none of this means that he/she didn't mean to say what was first expressed, or whatever he/she'd first said or thought, it just means that she/he didn't necessarily want it left out there in the cyberworld forever.
Posted By: Bob Goodman

Re: Support the Wave Dancer victims - 05/03/02 08:06 PM

According to Cyber Diver's newsletter, the CDNN ACT NOW campaign for the families of the Wave Dancer victims has generated thousands of responses and is still going strong. To each of you who stood up for justice and accountability, many thanks!

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