Tragedy and misfortune was averted with the quick action of a boat captain, his diving crew and dive shop personnel as they immediately rescued several tourist divers who happened to find themselves wading in open waters outside the reef after their dive boat capsized.
Rough sea conditions were the cause of a capsized boat just outside the reef in the popular dive spot known as the Tuffy Channel (break on the reef) that is located right across downtown San Pedro. The incident occurred close to midday, today, June 7, 2012.
Ambergris Today was first on the scene thanks to Armando Gonzalez of Armando’s Water Taxi, and caught a Seaduced boat being pulled inside the reef by an Aqua Dives Boat.
According to a press release from Ramon’s Village, at 11:00a.m. this morning a chartered boat by Ramon’s Village Dive Shop left the pier along with two other boats to conduct a dive trip. The boat was captained by Mr. Will Lima with a crew of two and 8 divers on board. At approximately 11:15a.m. immediately after crossing the San Pedro Cut, the side of the boat was hit by two back to back waves capsizing the vessel.
Ramon’s Village Dive Shop Manager and his assistant witnessed the event and immediately called one of the boats (that had already made the crossing) to assist along with the third boat that was picking up divers from other piers. At the same time two staff members on the pier got in their boats and hurried to assist. By 11:18a.m. four boats were at the accident site engaged in the rescue operation.
By 11:35a.m. all eight divers, captain and crew were safely back on the pier and a doctor was called to check up on them. The captain and a passenger were the only two who sustained minor injuries.
The Port Authority was on site conducting preliminary investigations. Members of Ramon’s Dive Shop and the dive community assisted in bringing the boat back to the dock.
“The Management and Staff of Ramon’s Village Dive Shop would like to thank all those that helped in a successful rescue operation,” stated the press release.