Peter Hughes is incapable of running a safe liveaboard...
Captain James Norwalk - Dive Boat Captain/Dive Instructor
September 10, 2003 at 14:56:40
Safe dive boat rule #1: Never pander to customer whims when passenger safety is at issue.
Safe dive boat rule #2: Always make sure the vessel is properly equipped, ship-shape and operating according to certification requirements (are you listening Wayne Hasson?).
Safe dive boat rule #3: Develop an effective worst case scenario emergency response plan; train and retrain crew in the implementation of that plan.
Peter Hughes broke all of those rules.
He deferred to tourists to make decisions that compromised safety and killed people.
He replaced certified water-tight hatches and other mandatory onboard equipment with Home Depot stuff, and Wave Dancer was not ship-shape.
Worst of all, he had no effective emergency response plan despite operating a commercial passenger vessel in an area that can be accurately described as "Hurricane Alley".
Hughes got into the business running land-based dive resorts on islands infamous for money-laundering and gambling. He should go back to clerking the front desk of a hotel or a casino because he is clearly incapable of operating a safe liveaboard diving vessel.
My condolences to all of the families who lost loved ones due to the arrogance, ignorance, incompetence and negligence of Peter Hughes. He denies responsibility with absurd statements to the effect that he did everything right.
In fact, Peter Hughes did everything wrong and killed 20 people. If the accident had happened in the US rather than some third-world banana republic, Hughes and the Wave Dancer captain would be charged with, and almost certainly convicted of manslaughter.