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SCUBA DIVING :: FORUMS :: EDITORIALS :: WAVE DANCER

 

Not rich yuppies--you don't know what you're talking about...

Teresa Mars  - Wife of Wave Dancer victim...
July 21, 2003 at 23:17:15

To all of you who want to blame the dead for their own tragic end, you do not know what you're talking about.

My husband was killed on the Wave Dancer, and he was most definitely NOT a rich yuppie.  He worked for the U.S. government, the Food and Drug Administration, for over 29 years. That does not make a rich yuppie.  We also worked hard for everything we had, and both of us went to college after we were married, some of which was accomplished after we had a child.

I also knew almost everyone who was killed, having been on a trip with them one year before this tragedy. None of them seemed like rich yuppies to me, in fact seemed like safety-conscious mature adults, not dare-devils, not risking their lives by doing something stupid, etc. If any of them ever felt the least bit uneasy about making a dive, they didn't go. I personally saw that for myself.

So, if they had been properly informed about the severity of Hurricane Iris, none of them would have been on that boat. They were lied to, and totally kept unaware of current conditions.  In fact, the radios all over the boat were deliberately turned off, so that they could not find out the truth.

They also were taken to a place that was totally not ready for them, not where the Belizean authorities had instructed them to go, that is, to return to port, which would have been Belize City, untouched by the storm.  When they finally did go to Big Creek, there was no room for the Wave Dancer to be docked correctly, and it was left sticking out past the end of the dock, left to bear the brunt of the storm alone.

It was also tied incorrectly, indeed ineptly, by the apparently untrained crew, under the supervision of the captain, who himself just happened to be in a lifeboat when the storm capsized the Wave Dancer.  What a lucky coincidence, or would you say he saved himself, at the expense of the passengers?

To all of those who seem intent on blaming the dead, and thus their surviving family members, whose lives are also over, please try to actually know of what you speak. When on a liveaboard dive trip, or a cruise ship, or a plane, or whatever, the passengers should expect the so-called professionals to know what to do. Otherwise, they could pilot the ship themselves, couldn't they?

It is an incredibly stupid and cruel idea that those 20 people caused their own deaths by booking the trip, and staying on board the Wave Dancer. They were told that it was perfectly safe to do so, and that nothing would happen.  I know this is true, because my husband called me the morning of October 8, 2001, and specifically told me what the captain had told them.

That knowledge, my remembrance of everything he said to me during what was to be our last conversation, as well as my knowledge of the character of the rest of the victims, leaves no doubt in my mind that the only parties responsible for the deaths of the Wave Dancer passengers are Captain Phillip Martin and Peter Hughes. They have the blood of those victims on their hands, and will for the rest of their sorry lives.

I hope that they think of them every second of every day, just as I and the other family members do.  The only difference is that all of the family members left behind know that they did not kill their loved ones. We have thus far been unable to get any answers, including the promised report from IMMARBE in Belize.

And, if any of us dare to write to them to request the report, we are severely chastised for daring to question them. This whole horrible tragedy could not have been handled worse by anyone in authority, or by those responsible for the safety of those killed.  Every mistake that could have been made, was made. Every decision was a bad one. And, no one cares. I guess it's much easier to blame those who cannot speak for themselves, because that way the rest of you can bury your heads in the sand and pretend that nothing like this can ever happen again.

So, please go ahead and travel on another Dancer trip. The world will be better off without you.

Action Divers

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