Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Port Captain's Preliminary Report on the Sinking of the Sea Star

Vicente Arturo Martinez Morales, the captain of the port of Puerto Juarez, has made a preliminary report on the partial sinking of the tourist boat that took the life of a young girl. A press release from the Cancun Convention and Visitor's Bureau attempts to clarify the issue of overcrowding on the boat and determine possible reasons why the catamaran began to sink. I would like to clarify that I cannot be responsible for the accuracy of the report, I have cited my sources and leave it to you to believe or not believe what the media outlets are saying.

The original Spanish version can be found here, I find it interesting that they have not posted an English version. Here is a rough English translation. Highlights from the report include:

1. Official capacity numbers from the Department of Naval Engineering allow the Sea Star to carry a total of 250 passengers. The Maritime Safety Certificate only gave permission to carry 80 passengers and three crew members to the protected area of the reef.

2. The partial sinking may have been caused by one or more of the following problems:

a) A blow to the hull or propulsion system before reaching the buoy marker in the Chitales reef, causing a leak and flooding of the machine room and a breakdown of the generator.

b) An imbalance of people on the ship, too many people near the middle section near the stern causing the flooding of the machine room.

c) Lack of prudence or good sense on the part of the captain (Patron) of the ship in sailing and navigating the reef and evaluating the condition of the sea.

d) The combination of one or more of the above.

Felix Gonzalez, the governor of the state of Quintana Roo has called for a full investigation into the accident, and has addressed the publicity (they mention this blog and the people who comment on it) and negative feedback generated by the event. He states that the company responsible for the accident must face the law for their actions. The boat itself has been taken to Isla Mujeres for a full inspection.

In South Grand Prairie, the classmates, friends and family of Lisa Chung gathered for a vigil and to remember this popular young woman who just graduated from high school. Another vigil is planned for Friday evening. Lisa's family is still looking for information on a young African American man wearing dark blue swim trunks who purportedly tried to assist in the rescue. Anyone with more information can contact me through the address in my profile. Someone mentioned that it may have been a lifeguard from Dreams and the family is following up on that information

Another tourist who was vacationing at the Riu Palace Las Americas witnessed the event and took photos, only to hear about the tragedy on her return home to Dallas. She has given me permission to post these pics of the Sea Star and some of the rescue boats, thanks to Sylia R. in Dallas.

photo by Sylvia R. in Dallas

photo by Sylvia R. in Dallas

photo by Sylvia R. in Dallas


Anonymous said...

Good Morning America this morning interviewed several of the teenagers that were on the sinking catamaran. The kids said that the crew all got off the boat first and there was no one left to tell them what to do.
GMA had some excellent photos including some taken by one of the teens with her waterproof camera that managed to stay on her wrist when she jumped in the water.
How frightening for them but more than anything what a sad, sad story.

C.A. said...

I've been reading your blog for several weeks now and this accident has me heart broken. Thank you for posting all of the current info. I am going to be vacationing in Cozumel/Playa Del Carmen/Cancun next week, and have enjoyed reading posts from someone who actually LIVES there and not just visits.

Happy Thursday....


Anonymous said...

Two of the survivors were on Good Morning American this morning. (if you go to the website, you can view their interview) They said the crew of the boat were the FIRST to jump overboard. How sad, but it doesn't surprise me.
KW from Michigan

Unknown said...

Thank you for the info on your blog! We were at the Riu when this happened and watched it from the beach. We were not sure all of what happened.
We had a boat and seado come to shore with some of the people from the boat. One girl that came to shore was not in good shape, she was having an anxiety attack and was taken to the hospital.
It was good to see though that all the resorts and surrounding boats were willing to help in any way possible.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Lisa's.
-Heather from MI

Anonymous said...

CC - Thank you for keeping us up to date on this tragic event. I hope the new attention coming to your blog remains positive and without ramifications of any kind. I'm a little bit concerned for you chica.

CancunCanuck said...

Jackie- I've watched the video a couple of times now, thanks for sharing.

C.A.- I hope you have a terrific trip, thanks for stopping in the blog. Sorry you have to read such a sad story before you travel.

KW- Yes, it seems most of the reports from the passengers indicate they received no assistance from the crew. It will be interesting to see if they are punished in any way.

Heather in MI- By all accounts the rescue was fast and well done, aside from the fact that the crew didn't assist (according to passengers). There were a lot of panic attacks that day, can't say that I blame them it must have been quite scary.

Michele- You and Hubby are concerned about negative attention coming this way. I'm trying to play it cool, trying to just report the facts as presented by other media sources and not editorialize. Of course, opinions always bleed through the written words, but I don't think I have said anything out of line or false. I appreciate you thinking of me though, it is kind of weird to think that the government is reading.

I think it's time for a kitten post. :)

Unknown said...

my friends senior week was in cancun. Her friends were on that boat. My friend didnt go to senor week but got the call. She said that her friends told her that the captin did happen to get all the crew AND HIMSELF off of the boat first and left the others to fend for themselves. It was a terrible tragedy!

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