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Dec 8, 2015

B.T.B. Says Tour Operator Not Responsible for Death of Tourist

Valdemar Andrade

In November of this year, sixty-one year old American tourist Edwin Simmons drowned trying to save his wife’s life. Edwin and Esther Simmons were on a tour at Shark Ray Alley in the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve. Police say that the couple was in the water and Edwin died while trying to rescue his wife who was drifting away by the sea current.  A post mortem exam by Doctor Mario Estradabran certified that Edwin died as a result “Asphyxiation by Drowning, Incidental.” H-Two-O Tierra, the company with whom the couple was on tour, rejected those results saying that medical kits and paramedics were on the tour. Today, B.T.B.’s Valdemar Andrade told the media that reports received show that protocols were followed. He says that while the incident is unfortunate, the B.T.B. ensures that due diligence was in place.


Valdemar Andrade, Director of Destination Planning & Cruise, B.T.B.

“On that incident, just to be clear, one of the reasons we don’t give response right away is because we also have to wait on the autopsy and we also have to wait on the official police report. So until we receive that, then we respond. But basically, there was an incident; we are still from the autopsy trying to ascertain whether it was drowning or whether there was any negligence. It doesn’t seem that there was any negligence in this case. All the different aspects, from the emergency response that the operator has to have in place was taken into account. There was also extra EMTs on the boat along with them that were also visitors who also assisted. So from where we sit, I think all the necessary care was taken and all the necessary due diligence was taken in that aspect. I am in communication with the family to let them know what the updates are and from their end also, it seems that everything has been clear at this point. I don’t have an update with respect to any other autopsy that’s going to be done or any other testing that’s going to be done. In our case, our due diligence is one…we ensure that all the operator’s licenses and insurances are in place, which they were; we ensure that all the guys are licensed and up to date, which they were; we ensure that the emergency response that they had on our books was activated on, which they were. We also received a report from all parties so we received a report from their end, we received a report from police and we have done our due diligence according to that and basically that’s the response that we provide to you when we do so.”

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1 Response for “B.T.B. Says Tour Operator Not Responsible for Death of Tourist”

  1. Hatari says:

    BTB is side stepping the issue. It really doesn’t matter if all licenses, insurance, first-aid, etc. were in place, someone died while on a supervised tour. If the tour guides were doing their jobs correctly and properly watching their swimmers then how did this happen? Somebody screwed up and a man is dead. I would like to hear from the other guests on the tour to see what they say about the performance of the guides.

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