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As police await directives on charges, mother of boating accident victim lashes out

Posted: Monday, April 17, 2023. 10:06 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Breaking Belize News is in possession of a statement from the mother of the late Logan Ceylon Pratt, 17, of Oklahoma, the victim of a boating accident off Ambergris Caye in February.

As we reported a few weeks ago and confirmed today by ACP Hilberto Romero, the case is with the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) awaiting a decision on charges to be filed against boat captain Jesse Smith, who is accused of running over Logan and her mother Tamra on February 14 while returning was returning from a tour of the Mexico Rocks area.

Асtіng Роrtѕ Соmmіѕѕіоnеr, Dаrlіn Gаіtаn, has previously told reporters thаt whаt hарреnеd іѕ іn mаrіtіmе раrlаnсе knоwn аѕ а ‘uѕеr соnflісt ѕіtuаtіоn’ – роtеntіаllу соmрlісаtіng mаttеrѕ.

But in Tamra’s statement, she attacks the “carelessness and recklessness” of Smith’s actions and alleged false statements he has since made, as well as noting that not enough was done in her view to save her daughter. The island’s volunteer emergency response team, Rickilee Response and Rescue (RRR), was created following the death of a tourist on the island years ago but was not called in on this distress call, and Hope Medical Clinic, where Logan died, was ill-prepared to treat her.

Tamra claims valuable time was lost getting Logan to treatment because Smith, she alleges, began berating her for being in his way despite a boat passing previously well out of range of the two women swimming in the sea. She asks, “Why did he not turn off the engine upon impact? Why was he driving so close to the pier? Were he and the other boat racing?” She also claims that Smith’s boat, the ‘Mathew,’ had neither an emergency first aid kit nor a radio which are required. She insists that it was his responsibility as the one who allegedly caused the accident to render aid and seek help.

According to Tamra, she had to help carry her daughter to the clinic as Smith allegedly refused to get a golf cart to move her as she bled from her wounds. Mother and daughter have visited Belize before and are certified in scuba diving and maritime operation and had someone responsible looking over them while they were in shallow water and who turned eyewitness to Logan’s death.

Regarding Logan, a heartbroken Tamra writes that she had graduated two years early from high school last year and was to have majored pre-med at Oklahoma State University later this year. “The world was robbed of the most purest soul I have ever known; she was my light in a darkening world. As her mother, I have to live with the fact my gifted, beautiful daughter breathed her last breath and died in my arms; and me, powerless to save her life. Logan Ceylon is incessantly in my thoughts: how she lived, and how she died. I love her and miss her immensely.”

In Logan’s name, Tamra concludes, Belize must take action to provide the necessary medical infrastructure and training to ensure that no one has to suffer her fate and that until it does, she would advise those planning to vacation here to rethink coming “until the country can provide adequate, competent emergency medical staff/care and a safer environment.”

San Pedro Town is getting a fully equipped hospital in the next few years with the support of the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan).


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