No Safe Harbor: The Tragedy of the Dive Ship Wave Dancer

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Less than a month after September 11th, with the nation and world still deep in shock and mourning, Hurricane Iris, a category-four hurricane, gathered strength and speed in the Atlantic Ocean. On October 8, 2001, with winds of 140 miles per hour and a storm surge of fourteen feet, Iris hit Belize causing the worst disaster in the history of recreational diving. The Wave Dancer, a live-aboard dive boat, was torn from its moorings and tossed 150 yards, killing seventeen members ...
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Overview

Less than a month after September 11th, with the nation and world still deep in shock and mourning, Hurricane Iris, a category-four hurricane, gathered strength and speed in the Atlantic Ocean. On October 8, 2001, with winds of 140 miles per hour and a storm surge of fourteen feet, Iris hit Belize causing the worst disaster in the history of recreational diving. The Wave Dancer, a live-aboard dive boat, was torn from its moorings and tossed 150 yards, killing seventeen members of the Richmond (VA) Dive Club and three members of the crew.

The ship’s captain, a relative novice, had disregarded hurricane warnings, staying at sea longer than any of the other boats that day; when at last he tied up, he left the Wave Dancer dangerously exposed. At the peak of the storm, the tremendous pressure on the boat’s moorings and the exposed hull led to the capsizing of the yacht. NO SAFE HARBOR: The Tragedy of the Dive Ship Wave Dancer is a stirring account in the tradition of The Perfect Storm and Shadow Divers, as told by an eyewitness to the Wave Dancer’s sad demise.

In the years since, the question of who was at fault in the Wave Diver debacle has bitterly divided the diving community. Many place blame on the captain and his employer, the Peter Hughes Company, a major player in the live-aboard diving industry, for being reckless. Others have questioned the judgment of the divers who stayed on board, a perspective that infuriates the families of the dead and the surviving members of the Richmond Dive Club.

NO SAFE HARBOR is a chilling, high-adventure tale and Burnworth attempts to bring closure while setting the record straight

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578602193
  • Publisher: Clerisy Press
  • Publication date: 6/20/2005
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 9.26 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 0.95 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2005

    Great Tribute to the Victims and their Families!

    This book was an awesome read. It is a great tribute to the victims and the victims' families by telling the unbiased truth about what happened. Being from the Richmond area and a diver, I knew some of these people...not on a personal level but, knew who they were. After reading this book, I felt like I knew them well. It is still to this day hard to believe what happened and hard to believe the carelessness of the Captain. Kudos to the author of this book and his writing. The book drew me in from the first page and was very hard to put down. It left me crying at the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2005

    The Truth About the M/V Wave Dancer Tragedy

    This is one of the best books I've ever read. This book is a compelling eyewitness account of the many events that led to the most horrific accident in live-aboard dive history. According to the dictionary, an accident is an unexpected and undesirable event one resulting in damage or harm. It¿s hard to call this an ¿accident¿ given the circumstances. Well researched, this book is a honorable tribute to the people whose lives where abruptly shattered by an egotistic, inexperienced Captain. Much like Krakauer¿s non-fiction adventure books, No Safe Harbor is an easy read. It can read in less than a day. It was very hard to put down. Joe Burnworth¿s writing draws the reader into every emotion. You eat, sleep and dive with the characters. This book teaches the reader about recreational diving, atmospheric pressure, absolute pressure, hurricanes, and so much more. The author takes you into the lives of the passengers. If you have ever taken a trip on a live-aboard dive yacht, you are seemingly a passenger. Some of the stories truly made me laugh out loud! There are funny stories about innocent pranks and the passengers were clearly a fun-loving group. I was astounded that such a tragic incident could occur when we know so much about hurricanes. An egotistical, novice boat captain is seemingly responsible for the deaths of 17 people, all of whom were friends and members of the Richmond Dive Club. This tragedy took place onboard Peter Hughes live-aboard dive yacht, the M/V Wave Dancer, less than a month after 9/11. I enjoyed reading this book because it focused more on the lives of the characters than the tragedy itself. I learned a lot from reading this book and I am going to read it again. In 20 years of diving I have always felt invited and safe onboard these yachts. I realize more than ever the value of carrying a weather band radio and an EPIRB with me on every dive trip.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2005

    Pick it up you won't put it down

    Joe develops your knowledge of both the storm and the people that will face it in a boat of all places. A hurricane is a unique storm that those of us in Floida know only too well. The people were not given enough information to make adequate judgements about what could and did happen to them as you will see when you read this gripping tale. A must read for anyone going on an 'adventure' vacation to make sure that if you are faced with a peril that you get the best information available and are willling to take a stand for your own safety.

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