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Tragedy at sea: Earthrace team hits fishing boat off Guatemala, 1 dead and crew still held

The biodiesel-powered Earthrace superboat will not set a round-the-world record. Last Sunday while traveling near the coast of Guatemala at night, the radical 78-foot Earthrace boat collided with a small fiberglass fishing boat. The Earthrace boat was basically unscathed except for prop damage but the fishing boat was demolished. The Earthrace crew managed to pull two injured fisherman out of the water but couldn't find a third. The Earthrace boat limped into a Guatemalan port where officials have not let the crew leave, even though repairs have been made. Court appearances have been postponed three times. The captain's blog has been very detailed in the accident and days in port. Captain Pete Bethune, who hails from New Zealand, was not at the wheel of Earthrace when the accident happened. An engineer was driving and he told the skipper that the fishing boat may not have had the proper lighting. That engineer has left the team, and the team has posted a want ad for a replacement. Earthrace had been slowed early in the run with prop problems. According to Bethune's blog, his insurance company has settled with the dead man's family. Now it may be only a question of whether any of the crew, which includes an American, will have to face criminal charges.


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