After the accident, Captain Wouters asked the three surviving passengers to write up statements what happened to them, for Peter Hughes Diving's records and insurance purposes. He seemed very much affected by the accident, although whether from his feelings for the lost passengers and crew or for his own career I couldn't say. I don't recall seeing or talking with Captain Martin at any time after I arrived on the Belize Aggressor III.

Dave DeBarger, Survivor

Under Construction


20 Perish in Hurricane Iris
Thursday, October 10, 2001

Hurricane Iris with winds up to 140 mph hit the two southern districts of Belize at 7:30 PM on Monday night, October 8, 2001. The dive boat "Wave Dancer" was moored in Big Creek Harbour to weather the hurricane.

Police reporters indicate that Phillip Martin, boat captain of New Zealand and Frank Wouters boat captain and engineer of the USA, arrived at Big Creek Port at 2:30 PM and were aware of the approaching storm...

During the Hurricane the Wave Dancer broke her moor, drifted across the small harbour and capsized.

At first light on Tuesday, October 9, after the passage of Hurricane Iris, the Belize Police Department dispatched a three-man team to investigate a report that the passengers' lives were lost.  A rescure team searched the area and ten (10) bodies were recovered.  Laters that day, British Army and local divers recovered 8 more bodies.  On Thursday, October 11, the remainingtwo bodies were found.

In all, 20 persons perished in the disaster  The bodies were transported to the Belize City morgue and handed over to the USA authorities.

See a complete list of the passengers of the Wave Dancer who were killed in Hurricane Iris in the left hand column.

Names of persons who died on board the Wave Dancer during Hurricane Iris:

Glen Prillman, 48
Cynthia Cindy Pike, 44
Charles Pike, 52
Shirley Johnston, 58
Lisa Powell, 31
Roberta Kristy McNeil, 40
Eloissa Johnston, 30
Aaron Stork
Kim Ann Garisson, 41
Sherrill Lightbound, 38
Herbert "Buddy" Web, 41
James Jim Garrison
William Bill Kelly, 58
Byron E.Johnston, 60
Ray Mars, 52
Brenda Wade, 28
James J. Topping, 44
Phyllis Cox, 56
William Cox, 57
Sheila Kelly, 48

This page was created for NEMO by Patrick E. Jones, Senior Information Officer
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