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Welcome to the Rio Dulce Chisme Vindicator Online News!
Staying Safe with your LPG Systems E-mail
The News - Latest News

Hole in LPG hose
Hole in LPG hose
By Capt. John Brandes

Most all of us know by now there was an explosion on the sailing vessel  Panacea at Vista Rio Hotel and Marina.  The owner of the boat was seriously injured with burns over most of his body and is still in critical condition. 

The cause of the explosion was leaking LPG (Propane) gas.  The leak has been determined to be the result of a rat chewing through the LPG hose between the tank and the stove in the galley.

This article is intended as an aid in helping other boaters prevent the kind of casualty that resulted in the loss of a cruising sailboat and possibly a man’s life.

In a marine application LPG liquid is contained in tanks that are carried on board.  When the internal pressure of the tank is reduced the LPG liquid vaporizes and the resultant gas flows through a pressure regulator and subsequently through a line to the LPG appliance such as a stove or Bar B Que at a regulated pressure. 

The pressure regulator controls not only the rate of vaporization in the tank but also the pressure of the gas flowing through the line to the appliance.

The American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) is the authority on marine LPG installations on pleasure craft and I have copied below the most pertinent of the ABYC regulations with regard to LPG installations.  

Even though these are US standards they are consistent with standards of the IMO (International Maritime Organization) and the SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) regulations of the IMO and thus apply to vessels of all country origins.

The standards copied below are a long and tedious read so I will try to summarize some of the most important aspects and requirements for the cruising vessel.  Here is a checklist of sorts that every LPG installation should meet:

The tanks must be in a dedicated locker that is vented overboard in a way that will not permit escaping fumes from entering the boat.

There should be nothing in the locker other than the LPG tanks and connected equipment.

The vent outlet should be located in such a way that will not allow fumes to enter the interior of the vessel.  Example: Vent should not be located above an opening port light.

There must be a remote controlled shutoff at the tank that allows the operator of the LPG appliance to turn off the flow of gas from a location near that appliance. 

The shutoff must be located in such a way that one does not have to reach across an open flame to operate it.

It is recommended that the remote shutoff be of the type that automatically senses the presence of escaping gas and closes the remote valve without any action by the operator. 

There must be a pressure gauge that indicates the pressure of the gas in the tank.

There must be a pressure regulator that controls the pressure and flow of gas to the appliance.

(Editor's Note: These 12vdc remote control shutoffs are now available at the new West Marine Store at RAM Marina).

The line from the dedicated locker to the appliance MUST NOT have any intermediate connections.  It must be one continuous line without any interruptions.

Read more...
 
Rat caused explosion on s/v Panacea E-mail
The News - Latest News
Divers Doug of s/v Dances With Wind and Vito of s/v  Blue Island  recovered the propane stove from s/v Panacea which exploded yesterday morning. They discovered that the rubber hose to the stove had been chewed through by a rat. The rat, which survived the explosion was last seen floating on a cushion, heading downriver. Still no update on the condition of Richard who remains in intensive care in a Guatemala City hospital.
Divers Doug of s/v Dances With Wind and Vito of s/v Blue Island recovered the propane stove from s/v Panacea which exploded yesterday morning. They discovered that the rubber hose to the stove had been chewed through by a rat. The rat, which survived the explosion was last seen floating on a cushion, heading downriver. Still no update on the condition of Richard who remains in intensive care in a Guatemala City hospital. The propane tank was later discovered. It was not equipped with a 12 volt safety cutoff solenoid and one control knob on the stove was in the open position.
 
s/v Panacea explodes, Richard hospitalized, Updated E-mail
The News - Latest News

s/v Panacea was totally destroyed and  sunk early this morning from an apparent propane explosion at Vista Rio .Owner Richard Munttzing was transported to Guatemala City via helicopter after suffering severe burns and possible other injuries. Other boats in the marina were also damaged, including the m/v Steel Magnolia which had windows and doors blown out. Click Read More below for more photos by Tom Allen.
s/v Panacea was totally destroyed and sunk early this morning from an apparent propane explosion at Vista Rio .Owner Richard Muntzing was transported to Guatemala City via helicopter after suffering severe burns and possible other injuries. Other boats in the marina were also damaged, including the m/v Steel Magnolia which had windows and doors blown out. Click Read More below for more photos by Tom Allen.

Updated with more photos by Lesley Morresey-Taylor.

Read more...
 
Rio Dulce mourns George D. Morgan E-mail
Births, Deaths, Anniversaries, Graduations, Life Changes - Deaths

George Morgan
George Morgan
By encor
Our favorite pharaoh, George the fearless, passed away on Dec.31.  He was at home in his beloved Bum Bum Rum, and smiling now that he was pain free.

As his friends know, George had fought the nasty cancers until he was ready to let go.

His son, Michael and supreme caregiver Sherrie were with him at the end.

He was a long time river liver, coming in on his vessel, s/v Morgan Manor from Long Beach, Ca. in the early 90's.  As a former firechief and paramedic, George contributed, without asking, his time and knowledge to help so many people. 

And with his never failing smile and genuine wit that made one glad to know him.

Along the way, George sold his boat and built Restaurante Rosita's in la Bacadilla.  That building eventually became his home, and got renamed the Bum Bum Rum. 

He built a few docks for his friends and a huge workshop to keep up with his many projects, always something new going on with him.

Old phrase, "they broke the mold" was never more apt.

George left us more memories in his writings, here is just one.  More will eventually be posted on his FaceBook page:

OF DEATH AND DYING

Pharoah George
Pharoah George

Is death the end

And something to fear?

Or is it the beginning

of something dear?

The problem is that no one knows.

And because of this, let's just suppose

That if life is over

When we die,

Then all we can do

Is try and cry.

George's wishes were to be cremated, which is happening in Guate City.

When Michael and Sherrie return with his cremains, there will be a memorial celebration of his life, where all his friends can gather and tell the multitude of George Stories that make him a legend and primo Rio Character.

Rest in Peace, my Pharaoh.

 

Read more...
 
RAM Marina West Marine store open E-mail
The News - Latest News

RAM Marina employees and family at the grand opening of the new West Marine store, located above the convenience store.
RAM Marina employees and family at the grand opening of the new West Marine store, located above the convenience store.
Story and photos
by encor

All the community, not just boaters, enjoyed the gala grand opening of the West Marine store at RAM marine. 
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Possibly a handful forgot to come over, but the ones who made it enjoyed a genuine open house on Friday, Dec. 27.   The dinghy parking is one indication of the crowd, and that's only the ones who arrived by water. 
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Good job, Richard and Karen (we know who does all the work ). 
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The store is well stocked, with more goodies on the way.  The manager is a familiar face to all who know Jessica, formerly with BAM bank.

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Interesting musical treat, we don't hear live sax very often.  Thanks for that, as well as the scrumptious  variety of snacks and the free flowing open bar. 
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Located upstairs, over the tienda, offering a wonderful view to help you decide what else you forgot on your shopping list. Check it out when you have something that you couldn't find at the swap meets.  You won't be disappointed.

Read more...
 
Grand opening of West Marine at RAM Marina E-mail
The News - Latest News

West Marine grand opening gala Friday at RAM Marina & Yacht Club
West Marine grand opening gala Friday at RAM Marina & Yacht Club
The Rio Dulce boating community and residents are invited to attend a gala grand opening of RAM Marina & Yacht Club’s new West Marine store this Friday, Dec. 27.

The event, which begins at 2 p.m., will include an open bar, free buffet and professional saxophone live music.

The West Marine store will be the first fully authorized Product Location in Central America, according to RAM owner Maricela Monstein.

RAM Marina & Yacht Club urges the Rio Dulce boaters to come enjoy the event and see the extensive product line and services now available.

 
Casa Guatemala Christmas 2013 E-mail
The News - Latest News

Santa at Casa Guatemala
Santa at Casa Guatemala
By Heather Graham
As we move into December, we here at Casa
Guatemala have started our preparations for our annual Christmas Celebration! 

If you are new to the river, then you might not know about the tradition of the toy drive that is held for the children at Casa Guatemala. Each year Casa Guatemala hosts a huge Christmas party for the orphanage and the surrounding Mayan villages on the evening of December 24th.

As always, we expect more than 600 children to come on Christmas Eve for a magical night of toys, turkey, and tamales with Santa!

Merry Christmas !
Merry Christmas !

The boating community plays a large part in the success of the festivities. We are grateful for the hundreds of toys, goods, andfood that are donated each year from our friends here on the River.

We will be placing drop boxes at the participating marinas and you can always drop off any donations at Hotel Backpackers and our La Granja de los Niños store. 

Santa's sleigh
Santa's sleigh

 If you want a donation box for your marina, please just let me know! We will have them around the community until Dec 22nd and will receive donations at Backpackers until the 24th.  You can also check out our latest newsletter for more information on our work and how to help.

We will be preparing a special meal of roast turkey and pork for the children and hundreds of tamales for everyone. 

Read more...
 
New tourism police boat for Rio Dulce E-mail
The News - Latest News

A new patrol boat for Policia de Tourismo was presented to local officers Monday at Mansion del Rio
A new patrol boat for Policia de Tourismo was presented to local officers Monday at Mansion del Rio
Rio Dulce residents and boaters will soon be seeing a new patrol boat on the river.

In a ceremony Monday, Dec. 16 at Mansion del Rio, Oficial Noe Gonzales Prera presented the patrol boat to the Policia de Tourismo (Tourism Police Department).

The boat was donated by the the Israeli Embassy  through the offices of Uri Roitman of Nana Juana .

The motor was donated by Mayor Vicente Interiano and the municipality of Fronteras, Izabal.

Equipping and repair of the boat was donated by Richard Monstein of RAM Marina and final painting and detail work was provided by Abel Ramirez and Juan Abel Ramirez of  Astillero Magdalena (Abel’s Boatyard).

Planning is underway for funding of gasoline for the patrol craft which should be operational for the upcoming holiday season.

In case of  emergencies it is best to  call DISETUR.. 

Number:  Officer Prera (Jefe) 5551 3867

The number for the tourism police station  is 3033 8175

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Read more...
 
Yveth (Jenny) Orellana graduates E-mail
Births, Deaths, Anniversaries, Graduations, Life Changes - Graduations

Congratulations, Yveth !
Congratulations, Yveth !
Story and photos
by Jody Aston

If you happen to see Yveth (Jenny) Orellana around the rio, be sure to tell her congratulations!

After several years of hard work, Yveth recently graduated from La Escuela Mundo Juvenil.

Family and friends joined Yveth at the ceremony, and, in a heartfelt, emotional speech, she thanked them for their support.

Congratulations and well done, Yveth!

Click Read More below for more photos by Jody Aston

Read more...
 
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