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A honeymoon vacation for a couple of tourists in San Pedro ends abruptly in a horrific accident at sea that has left one man without his lower right leg and a woman suffering from lacerations to her wrist after a water taxi runs them over while they enjoyed an afternoon of snorkeling, on Friday, September 16, 2011.

It was the San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi’s mid-day run from Caye Caulker to San Pedro that was involved in this horrific accident that occurred just a couple of miles from the water taxi’s terminal in downtown San Pedro. A passenger aboard the San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi told Ambergris Today that the passengers and crew members were terrified to learn that the vessel had just run over a couple of people just after feeling and hearing a loud thump on the boat. The 38-foot, three outboard motor engine vessel had just run over the couple.

Apparently the captain of the boat was not able to see two tourists who were snorkeling out from shore in the busy and heavily trafficked water lane of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. This took place in front of Carib Island Resort between 11:45a.m. and 12:15p.m. The water taxi ran over Rob Leonard, 31, and Dana Sniflet, 32, amputating Rob just above the knee of his right leg and injuring Jane on her wrist. Passengers on the boat indicate that the water taxi was not travelling close to the piers and was far from shore, on its usual course.

Contrary to other reports, the Captain of the San Pedro Belize Express vessel immediately circled around to render assistance. This is according to passengers on the water taxi. By the time they had circled around, another vessel of the Caye Caulker Water Taxi had already rendered assistance to the badly injured tourists.

The couple was immediately transported to the San Pedro Poly Clinic where they were attended by Dr. Javier Zuniga who stated that Rob and Dana were in stable condition when they were airlifted to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. He also stated that Rob would lose his leg.

San Pedro Police is investigating the accident further and would not release the name of the boat captain and whether he will be charged or not until the accident is thoroughly investigated. Updates from Ambergris Today are forthcoming as they become available.

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Dorian Nuñez's picture

Dorian Nuñez


  1. avatar

    I'm sorry but I believe that the word "HORROR" is not appropriate for your headline.

  2. avatar

    I have a friend who witnessed it and was involved in the rescue...would you like to tell her that it wasn't horrific? ...maybe thats something your used to but normal ppl arent.

  3. avatar

    ...not Horror since it didn't happen to you?

  4. avatar

    Since when is getting your leg amputated while snorkeling not a "horror"?  You were expecting beheadings I guess?

  5. avatar

      Quite horrific for those who know them and their parents.

  6. avatar

    I do not think the first comment meant to lessen the gravity of this event. I believe he or she was making a point that it more deeply affects those who actually know the victims involved on a personal and emotional level. That said, I am suprised that no one has commented on "how could this happen?"  Surely, the details of this story are vague and I hope that officials properly investigate this "accident" or "act of neglicence" and not simply brush it off once the immediate impact of it is no longer felt.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims who I am sure are not only physically but also emotionally scarred by this. 

  7. avatar

    All in all we wish them a speedy recovery physically and pray that they could emotionally recover.

    I just hope that it doesn't be a shut case with the party involved.  Port authorithy should do a proper investigation in the accident.  The company hasn't been honest to them and should be penalized for saying lies. In the end the truth will always out. Its not that we wish jail for anyone, but atleast that the company responsible be dealt with the porper law and justice prevail.  Hoping that they have some heart and be there for the victims financially and not just  get to the conclusion that there insurance will pay.

    San Pedro Belize express claims that they are there for the ppl.  Lets see how much they will cover for the gentleman that has been forever incapacitaed. 


    Our heart goes out to them in prayers.



  8. avatar

    I wouldn't be so quick to judge the taxi company.  Snorkeling in water taxi lanes is dangerous.  There are some snorkel opportunities off of several piers, however the reef being so near by is just too tempting. I myself have been lured to it, despite the warnings that its very dangerous.  I wish there were a few sections blocked off to safely snorkel a portion of the reef, out of harm's way, but within kayaking distance from the hotels.

    My heart goes out to Rob and Dana, to the captain of the San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi and to everyone involved in this terrible accident.

  9. avatar

    This is awful.  My heart goes out to this couple.  Their honeymoon should have been full of lovely memories.  I'm sure this accident will cause them post traumatic stress for a long time as well as the first responders.  I pray that they are all recovering well.  I cannot imagine being on vacation (especially in foreign waters) and having an accident like this occur.  I wonder if their medical coverage is sufficient?  I wonder if they were carrying holiday medical insurance?  Someone should provide them a 2nd chance honeymoon.  This is NOT how a honeymoon should end. 

  10. avatar

    Hoping that they have some heart and be there for the victims financially and not just  get to the conclusion that there insurance will pay.-Dr. Marla Ahlgrimm

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