Tourism May 5, 2023 | 10:12 am

Dominican Republic investigates death of tourist forgotten at sea during excursion at Jellyfish Beach

An American tourist, Richard Jorene, died during a catamaran excursion in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, after being left forgotten at sea during a snorkeling activity. The 67-year-old woman was found lifeless near Jellyfish Beach in the tourist area of Bávaro. Local media reported that the excursion company, Bebe, did not count the tourists on board after the activity, and the workers left the area without realizing that Jorene was still in the water. Three people, including the captain and two crew members, were arrested and could face sentences of up to two years in prison.

The Verón prosecutor, Dennis Guerrero, announced that a measure of coercion would be requested for the three citizens detained for the incident. Although the authorities have not disclosed the name of the excursion company involved, they clarified that criminal law is personal and that the law does not allow them to prosecute the company, only the individuals who committed the act. The captain and crew members could face charges of criminal negligence resulting in death, which carries a sentence of three months to two years in prison.

The case has sparked concern among tourists about the safety of water activities and the supervision of excursion companies in the Dominican Republic. The country, which attracts millions of tourists every year, has seen a rise in incidents related to water activities, such as accidents, disappearances, and deaths. The lack of regulation and oversight of these companies, combined with the high demand for these types of excursions, has led to several incidents and has raised questions about the safety standards in the tourism industry.

In response to this incident, the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Tourism has issued a statement expressing their condolences to the family and friends of the deceased and promising to investigate the incident thoroughly. The Ministry emphasized that it takes the safety of its visitors very seriously and that it has implemented measures to ensure the quality and safety of tourism services in the country. The Ministry also urged tourists to choose authorized and certified excursion companies, follow safety instructions and regulations, and report any incidents or concerns to the authorities.

Related article:

Employees of excursion company involved in tourist drowning in Punta Cana given economic guarantee and periodic presentation

5 2 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Steve Seaman
May 5, 2023 10:31 am

How are people to make such a choice if the company concerned has not been named. More importantly perhaps, the company as well as the employees also needs to be held liable, in the case of damages it is unlikely the employees would have the means to pay. Any company involved in such activities should be required to have public liability insurance to cover such events.

Paul Tierney
May 5, 2023 11:23 am
Reply to  Steve Seaman

Agree with what you say. Companies should be held liable. Bringing a negligence suit against a tourism company in the RD will have as much success as suing a dog.

Ramon Garcia
May 5, 2023 1:48 pm
Reply to  Steve Seaman

Mostly Haitian operates those boats and excursions.

Paul Tierney
May 5, 2023 10:50 am

This blame for tragedy may fall upon the three crew members. But it stands to reason the company has to take some responsibility. However, the tourism industry in the RD is a protected cash cow and it is nearly impossible to bring or win a suit against a resort or any tourism related industry for negligence. An open question is why didn’t the other guests aboard the boat notice a person missing? Should they be arrested? A cardinal rule of diving/swimming is never dive or swim alone, have a buddy at all times. What happened here?

May 12, 2023 6:37 pm
Reply to  Paul Tierney

It’s not my responsibility to count tourists…..I’m on vacation.

May 19, 2023 3:22 pm
Reply to  Edward

Damn cold blooded!

May 5, 2023 5:22 pm

negligence at it’s peak…no sense of responsibility…someone died…but business is booming…teach them how to think…