Unidentified Dancer Crew Members - photos are not from the fatal Wave Dancer trip
and are only used here to represent Dancer crew members at work.

Since we had been aboard for only a couple of days, I really hadn't had time to get to know many of the crew members. I had talked some with Captain Wouters, and a bit with the videographer, Thomas (Baechtold),  but not enough to get to know them. Most of the crew seemed very quiet - perhaps diffident.  Good at their jobs, though - the ship seemed to run very efficiently.

Captain Martin was rather cold and businesslike - I didn't sense any warmth in him at all. Captain Wouters seemed more friendly, was more accessible to the passengers, and didn't seem to mind answering questions and providing information. Brenda Wade, the stewardess, was almost painfully shy, but had a beautiful smile when she opened up. She hardly said anything to any of the passengers unless it was necessary for her job. Aaron Stark, the divemaster, was also quite shy and said very little.  He was new to the boat, and may have been still finding his niche.
Dave DeBarger

Philip Martin

Philip Martin was hired by Peter Hughes Diving in February 2001 as 2nd Captain on the Wave Dancer. The 33-year old was promoted to Captain in May 2001. Martin had no previous experience commanding a commercial vessel prior to becoming Master of the Wave Dancer. He had sailed as a mate on voyages in the Mediterranean, U.K., Australia and New Zealand.

Nationality: New Zealand.
Certification(s): UK Certificate of Competence Yachtmaster Offshore with Commercial Endorsement issued 26th January 2000. PADI Openwater Scuba Instructor PADI Medic First Aid Instructor.

Frank Wouters
Chief Officer/Engineer/2nd Captain

Frank Wouters was hired by Peter Hughes Diving in July 2001. Prior to that, Wouters had been captain of a tugboat in the San Francisco Bay area. The 37-year old had no previous experience sailing in the Caribbean but had some experience in storms and heavy seas. It was Peter Hughes' intention to promote him to Master on the Wave Dancer after satisfactory completion of a period of service as 2nd Captain.

Nationality: U.S.A.
Certification(s): U.S.C.G. Master of Steam or Motor Vessels of not more than 1600 Gross Tons upon near coastal waters issued 27th August 2001.

Thomas Baechtold
Head Diving Instructor

Thomas Baechtold had seven years of experience on live-aboard dive boats and dive centers prior to joining Peter Hughes Diving.

Nationality: Swiss/Australian.
Certification(s): Australian Recreational Ship Master License, Medical First Aid Instructor with several specialities in diving.

Bart Stanley
Dive Master

Bart Stanley had been employed on Wave Dancer since November 2000. He had also acted as relief 2nd Captain. As a native Belizean and experienced diver in Belize, he had a good knowledge of the local waters and dive sites, and first-hand experience with hurricanes in that locale.

Nationality: Belizean.
Divemaster’s Certificate by PADI.

Aaron Stark
Diving Instructor

Aaron Stark joined the Wave Dancer in September 2001 and was on his first contract on this vessel. Prior to joining Peter Hughes Diving, he had been an instructor at Catalina Scuba Luv for three years.

Nationality: U.S.A.
Certification(s): Instructor’s Certificate by PADI.

Angela Luk
Assistant Cook

Angela Luk was hired by Peter Hughes Diving in May 2001.

Nationality: Belizean.

Eloisa Johnson
Nationality: Belizean.

Brenda J. Wade
Nationality: Belizean.

Eleno "Chico" Cortez

Multi-purpose Crewmember
Nationality: Belizean.

The Chef Eloisa Johnson, Stewardess Brenda J. Wade, and multi-purpose crewmember Eleno "Chico" Cortez had all served for several years on the Wave Dancer.

Contracts of Employment

The non-Belizean crewmembers each had signed individual contracts of employment, but no Belizean employees had contracts. Instead, they received salary slips at the end of each voyage and were paid by cheque by Wave Dancer (Belize) Ltd.


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