Lobster Boat Capsizes off Roatan
Crewman Killed, Reef Damaged, Boat Said to Have Been Poorly Balanced

July 24th, 2013

[private]A lobster boat capsized off Roatan’s  south coast July 18, killing a crew member and damaging several hundred feet of coral, port and Marine Park officials said.

photo-8-news-capsize-web-1The 72-foot vessel with 14 crew, registered to Ricardo Duarte of French Harbour and captained by Pedro Marin, left French Harbour about 4:30 p.m. to test its engines, without the requisite permission from the Port Captain, port officials said. According to a preliminary accident investigation, the boat capsized after traveling about three miles. It foundered atop a shallow reef just in front of the La Bahía sector of Los Fuertes.

The captain’s son, Roberto Eustacio Marin, 35, was reportedly below deck checking the engine when the vessel capsized and was trapped inside. All other crew escaped without injury. Roatan Marine Park retrieved Marin’s body July 19 about 20 meters from the capsized boat.

The wreck is easily visible, about 100 meters off shore in front of a row of docks.

The wreck is easily visible, about 100 meters off shore in front of a row of docks.

A port official said Merchant Marine authorities in Tegucigalpa would assess the information and determine what if any fines or penalties may be levied. He said it appeared the vessel was not properly loaded and ballasted.

Giacomo Palavicini, the Marine Park’s executive director, said the boat left two scars on the reef measuring about 375 feet long and 82 feet wide. He said further damage could occur when the boat is removed (at press time it was still sitting atop the reef).[/private]

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