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Scuba Shack's Boat Get Wet Sinks in Key Largo

Discussion in 'Florida' started by The Chairman, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. reefman

    reefman Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: key largo, fl
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    update in todays key west citizen,,,,,,,,,,

    Interpol looks for dive boat owners | KeysNews.com



    Interpol looks for dive boat owners
    'Case not forgotten'
    BY ADAM LINHARDT Citizen Staff
    alinhardt@keysnews.com
    The Coast Guard is working with the international police organization Interpol to find the owners of a Key Largo dive boat on which a tourist died two years ago.
    Aimee Rhoades, 36, of Washington state, drowned while trapped in the hull of the Get Wet that capsized near Molasses Reef in December 2011, according to the Coast Guard.
    She was one of two divers trapped below deck on the dive vessel. Rhoades was pronounced dead by paramedics at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park while another diver, Amit Rampurkar, was critically hurt and was airlifted to a Miami hospital. Rampurkar did survive.
    The 24.5-foot vessel had just left a mooring at Molasses Reef and was powering up when the boat began taking on water before it quickly capsized and sank, trapping customers in the forward cabin, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
    The Coast Guard launched an investigation and subsequently indicted the boat's two British owners, Christopher Jones and Alison Gracey, said Coast Guard Investigative Service Resident in Charge Paul Shultz.
    The indictment is sealed, so what, if any, charges either man face is unknown. Both left the U.S. before investigators determined who owned the vessel, Shultz said.
    Shultz declined to comment on the specifics of how the Coast Guard is working with Interpol in locating the two men.
    The boat failed a Coast Guard passenger vessel inspection, so the owners dropped the larger license that allowed them to carry more than six passengers and opted for what is known as a six-pack license.
    That lesser designation allowed them to operate without the Coast Guard safety inspection required of larger vessels as long as they only took six passengers or less, Shultz said.
    "Rather than fix the safety discrepancies, they just ran with six or less passengers," Shultz said. What those safety failures were are sealed in the indictment, he added.
    When Interpol agents find the two owners they will be tried in the federal Southern District of Florida.
    "The case has not been forgotten," Shultz said. "It frustrates me that federal cases sometimes take this long, but we haven't forgotten."
    alinhardt@keysnews.com




    reefman
    key largo
     
    Randy g, sportxlh, John_B and 2 others like this.
  2. The Chairman

    The Chairman Chairman of the Board

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Cave Country!
    56,691
    24,517
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    We were just talking about this recently. Glad to see that they are being sought, though I think Alison is female and I don't think the boat capsized. The engine lid came up trapping the two. Also, I think they were out of the country when the accident happened. Were any charges brought against the captain?
     
  3. Aquahound

    Aquahound Nassau Grouper

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    Hey Pete...it's been a long time. You have my word, I'll answer any questions you have when this case is unsealed and resolved. I think you deserve the "scoop." :wink:
     
    The Chairman and mselenaous like this.
  4. Tom Winters

    Tom Winters Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Boca Raton, FL
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    Oh boy, a resolved scuba case that gets reported to the public. I have to leave a link to this thread so someone can read the case findings in 2330 and let me know what happened via séance. You know if Interpol is on the case to extradite a couple of Brits to Florida, it's going to move quickly.
     
    Chugwhump likes this.
  5. ConchyJoe

    ConchyJoe Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: South Sound, Grand Cayman
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    I guess they are not really in the Bahamas opening a Scuba Shack in Bimini?
     
  6. conchrandy

    conchrandy Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Key Largo, Fl
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    So if you fail an inspection as an "inspected vessel" you can still run as a 6 pack, no matter the condition of the boat. Ask questions, divers.
     
  7. lds922

    lds922 Angel Fish

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    That's the definition of the 'six pack'. OUPV = Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels. They are limited to 6 'customers' hence the term six pack.

    Not saying your point isn't an important one, it is very important.... Just emphasizing that inspection is not a requirement for the six packs, so that's why they're 'allowed'.

    (Not trying to defend the boat in question or prove anything, I know next to nothing about the case...Just throwing my 2 cents in there).
     
    sportxlh likes this.
  8. conchrandy

    conchrandy Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Key Largo, Fl
    110
    70
    28
    I think you're agreeing with me. But there has to be some "minimum standards" for vessels for hire, albeit a cursory inspection. Bilge pumps that work, VHF, load max, fuel shut offs, etc. The "default" of an inspected vessel should not be an anything goes 6-pack. As for inspected vessels, I know what you have to go through to maintain USCG standards., I have seven.
     
    mselenaous likes this.
  9. lds922

    lds922 Angel Fish

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    Absolutely, you would think a failed inspection would trigger something...

    While I don't agree with it, I can see the logic behind an operator failing an inspection for a higher class license...then falling back on the OUPV in order to keep the $$$$ coming in. I'd like to think someone taking customers would want to address the problem, I guess that's the difference between a good operation and a poor one. (Again, I only know what I've read online about this case...Just speaking generally).
     
  10. mholiver

    mholiver Garibaldi

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    thought that anyone following this would like to read Pat Rhodes's (Aimee's husband) blog entry of what really happened on December 18, 2011; two years ago.

    Missing Aimee
     

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