Cruise Ship Passenger Dies While Snorkeling

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Another American cruise ship passenger has died while snorkeling.

This time the death occurred at around 9.30 in the morning near Sargeant’s Caye in Belize when 67 year old Janice Mittelstadt from South Dakota died. She had arrived on a Princess Cruise ship, the Caribbean Princess, and was on an organized tour with Belize Dive Connection. The company is a full service Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) facility located at Hugh Parkey’s Belize Adventure Lodge on Spanish Look-Out Caye located just 25 minutes from Belize City.

The tour guides said that while she was snorkeling she suddenly went under the water. She was rescued from the water and given CPR but did not regain consciousness. She was then taken to the mainland where she was pronounced dead at around 11 a.m. and transferred to the morgue. A post mortem is due to be carried out to see if she suffered from any underlying medical condition. Early, yet unconfirmed, reports are that she had a seizure in the water which could have contributed to her drowning.

Only one month ago, there was a similar event when 61 year old Karl Simmons drowned while snorkeling in the Shark Ray Alley Marine Reserve which is also in Belize.  The tourist police believe that even though there are deaths every year from visiting cruise ship passengers who are snorkeling and diving, there is little that they can do to prevent them, especially as the major of the victims are older. This contention contradicts the fact that cruise lines have a history of recommending excursions to their passengers which are often carried out by unqualified or dangerous providers.