People receive medical attention after a bus crash  in Mahahual, Mexico, on December 19. Twelve people died and 18 passengers from the cruise ship were injured.
People receive medical attention after a bus crash in Mahahual, Mexico, on December 19. Twelve people died and 18 passengers from the cruise ship were injured. STR

Nightmare holiday for Tweed journo

WHAT started off as a trip of a lifetime quickly turned into a nightmare for a Tweed radio presenter after a bus crash off the Mexican coast claimed the lives of 12 passengers from his luxury cruiseliner.

Radio 97 breakfast show host Scott Mayman was enjoying a seven-day cruise with his family, from Miami south along the Mexican coastline, just before Christmas when disaster struck.

A bus carrying passengers from the Royal Caribbean liner Celebrity Equinox was on a day excursion to see ancient Mayan ruins when it crashed about 45 minutes into the journey.

A total of 12 passengers were killed and a further 18 injured.

Mr Mayman and his family were luckily not involved in the crash, but the seasoned radio newsman soon found himself called in to report on the incident.

"We were on a cruise in the middle of nowhere, I was expecting nothing bad to happen,” he said.

"I had turned off the phones and my wife and I were just going to enjoy some quiet time. Then on day two of the cruise, this tragedy happened. My wife was going to be on that tour but at the eleventh hour she pulled out.

"It was supposed to be a trip of a lifetime for so many, especially because it was just before Christmas.”

The vessel Celebrity Equinox operated by Royal Caribbean Cruises.
The vessel Celebrity Equinox operated by Royal Caribbean Cruises. Contributed

Mr Mayman said the tragedy had destroyed the tone of the cruise, as remaining passengers were left to cope with the aftermath of the tragedy.

"When you enter the dining room on a cruise ship, usually it's a buzz... you walked into the dining room that night and you could hear a pin drop,” he said.

"We sat down at our dinner table and looked around and there were so many tables empty and you just knew those people who were killed would have been there just 24 hours before.

"It sent a shiver down your spine.”

My Mayman, who spent the next week filing countless reports to his affiliate radio station in the US and back to Australia, said it drove home the message that we should always wear a seatbelt.

"You think nothing will happen to you when you are on holiday,” he said.

"The reports coming back from the people on the bus who were injured is that they survived because they were wearing a seatbelt. Those who were killed were flung out of the bus.

"It really does drive home the fact you've got to wear a seatbelt, whether it's just driving down the street or when on holiday.”

TRAGIC CRUISE: Radio 97 breakfast show host Scott Mayman on board the Celebrity Equinox.
TRAGIC CRUISE: Radio 97 breakfast show host Scott Mayman on board the Celebrity Equinox. Contributed


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