Sinking of Sea Star Catamaran Update

The Ministry of Communications and Transportation has declared that the sinking of the catamaran the "Sea Star" which took the life of a young woman and destroyed protected coral reefs was caused by human error. The local media states that the captain of the ship was inexperienced in the region of the reef and did not understand the depths of the water and the effect of the waves. It was his first time navigating in the area. The boat itself was not overloaded for normal use, but in the shallow and tricky waters of the reef, it was approved for only 83 people by the port master. In actuality it was carrying 215 passengers, and the company only reported 63. In addition, it is alleged that the company running the tour deliberately underreported the number of people on the boat to avoid paying fees required to visit the protected reef.

Amidst allegations of corruption and deceit, the Ministry has dismissed top port officials from office, including Captain Vicente Martinez Morales of the Captaincy of Puerto Juarez and Delegate Captain of the Port of Isla Mujeres, Jose Luis Ibarra Rojo. The captain of the "Sea Star" will be suspended immediately and will lose his permission to navigate in the coastal waters. The "Sea Star" itself has lost its license and the company who operated the catamaran is suspended and will not be allowed to operate until a full investigation is completed. A fine will also be implemented by the SCT to a maximum of 50 000 pesos.

It appears that the SCT will not be the only ones to punish those responsible for this accident. There will likely be fines and levies for the damage to the reef, and quite possibly murder charges in the death of Lisa Chung. PROFEPA (environmental protection agency) and the prosecuting attorney's office are still investigating and have not released final reports.


Anonymous said…
Kelly, Thank you for this update. What a tragedy. I cannot imagine what of Lisa’s parents are going through. You send your child on a fun vacation and they get killed? I have almost lost my daughter twice from cardiac arrest. The first time I was told that she was not going to survive. A parent’s worst nightmare!
harvestmoon said…
Holy Shit! Are we still in Mexico?
Laura Mapchick said…
I'm really impressed how well this was handled, I thought it would one of those things that we would never hear about again.
Thanks for the update Kelly.
CancunCanuck said…
Jackie- I agree, this would be a parent's worst nightmare, I don't even want to think of how it would feel. And oh my gosh, I am sorry to hear you have had some scares with your daughter, how awful!

Harvestmoon- Yes, yes we are. It was revealed that the port masters that were "dismissed" have only been transferred out of state until more investigating can be done. Sigh.....

Laura- I am impressed too. I knew the governor was highly concerned about the effect this would have on tourism, so he has made it a priority to get things straight ASAP. As you know, "ASAP" is something that is difficult to come by in Mexico. :)
S. Rome said…
Hey I just found out that my Godchild was on that boat (haven't seen her since graduation) Anyway when I heard this story just yesterday I kinda freaked out!! My godchild was 1 of 7 that were left on the boat. Thay were picked up very last and didn't even think ANYONE would come for them. This was a senior trip for her. My heart goes out to the family that lost their daughter. And SHAME on everyone involved for risking the lives of innocent children that booked a legitimate (so they thought) excursion. I know if I would have gotten a call about this when it happened and it would have been my Godchild that was murdered (and yes by lying and overloading a boat by 4times its capacity constitutes murder in my book) I would have been on the first flight to Cancun with Vengence in my heart and feeling sorry for the families of everyone involved in this because I would have hunted them down beat the piss out of them and then probably held his (captain) head under salt water to drown as he caused this pain on others. I was also told first hand from someone on the boat that the captain and crew were the first to Jump Ship and leave all the kids to fend for themselves!!! AWFULL And thank you for this blog so I coud actually get a little more info about this supposedly professional Captain and Crew!!!

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