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Alaska woman among three killed in Mexico boat accident

Posted: Sunday, July 15, 2001

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- A glass-bottom boat capsized off the Mexican resort town of Cabo San Lucas, killing three American cruise ship passengers, including one Alaskan, according to Carnival Cruise Lines.

Elizabeth Steven, 64, of Anchorage; Paulina Armijo, 54, of New Mexico; and Dorothy Farnman, 32, whose home state was unknown, drowned Friday after the 18-foot-long boat capsized near the Stone Arch, a coastal landmark in the western state of Baja California.

Carnival said 17 passengers from its Elation cruise ship were aboard the locally operated water taxi when it capsized shortly after 9 a.m. The Elation had left Los Angeles on July 8 for a week-long cruise in Mexican waters.

Seven other Carnival passengers were injured in the accident, but none seriously, said Cabo San Lucas Red Cross official Moises Ruiz.

It was unclear what caused the boat to capsize. Witnesses told local television stations that the boat grazed rocks, but Ruiz said a large wave flipped the boat.

The boat was one of hundreds of glass-bottom water taxis that shuttle tourists around Cabo San Lucas' coast, allowing passengers to watch the sea life below.

Police were trying to determine whether the boat was overloaded. The boat's captain, Pedro Alazan, was detained by police Friday and remained in custody pending the investigation.

Alazan told television reporters that all his passengers were wearing life jackets, but that many had not fastened the buckles and lost them in the water.

Ruiz of the REd Cross said many of the passengers were never issued life vests.

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