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Richard, today you'll learn about the enter key, paragraphs and stupid divers...

Ian S - Instructor/University Administrator
October 23, 2004 at 10:15:38

Richard, instead of running off at the mouth and alienating those who pretty much agree with you about Hughes, why not try organizing your thoughts into paragraphs. There is a key called 'Enter' on your keyboard. Learn how to use it.

Some people including you blame Hughes for everything that happened in Belize. Some people blame the dead. But most people are like me. They are somewhere in between the two extremes.  You and Mrs. Mars are doing a fine job of pushing those of us in the middle in the wrong direction with your personal insults and ugly rant.  I'm starting to wonder if the people who died on the Wave Dancer were as ill-mannered and obnoxious as you are...

So you're happy not to be on the boat with me and you feel sorry for my scuba diving students.  And according to you, the bad decisions stupid tourist divers make are my fault because I'm the captain of the boat. Well obviously you're not trying to persuade me with your personal insults so what is it? Am I supposed to feel bad? I don't. I just feel disappointed that you can't make a better argument on behalf of those who died on the Wave Dancer.

Ironically, your anecdote about following the captain come hell or high water echoes some comments I've read by people who blame the dead.  They argue that the Wave Dancer passengers should have gotten off the boat regardless of what the captain said. You mentioned that the captain threatened to fire crew who got off the boat but that's only half the story.  The rest of the story is that one of the crew took responsibility for her own life, disobeyed the captain, got off the boat and guess what?  She's alive.  I repeat: SHE'S ALIVE! That's the reality buddy and it's something you, Mrs. Mars and other family members should think long and hard about.

Back to your comment about me, the captain, being responsible for any and all stupid dive tourist decisions, here's an anecdote of my own.  One day as divers showed up for the morning dive trip, a fog settled in and limited visibility to about 100 meters.  I explained to everyone that we would have to wait for the fog to lift before leaving port.  Apart from the danger of navigating across shipping lanes, strong currents were common at the dive site.

Everybody was cool with the decision except for a couple of guys who wanted to dive NOW. While the other divers relaxed and got to know each other, they were complaining about the delay. After failing to persuade me to leave port as originally scheduled, they started calling other dive boat operators on their cell phone until they found one who agreed to take them out in the fog.  A couple of hours later as the fog started to lift and we were getting ready to shove off, we heard the missing diver emergency distress call on the boat radio.  Of course, we had to cancel our dive trip and join the search.

Six hours later, one of my crew spotted the missing divers eight kilometers down current from the dive site.  On the way back in, they didn't say much but when we got to port, one of the divers told me it was my fault because I "forced him" to go diving on a "bad boat".

Like you said Richard Lindsay, the boat captain has all of the responsibility even for bad decisions stupid tourist divers make.

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