Eight people, including four young children, drowned on Dec. 5, 2010 after an overcrowded motorboat carrying 34 people slammed into a reef just outside of Paraquita Bay and sank.

Roro Edourre and Renold Plaisimond, who witnesses identified as the captain and first mate of the vessel, were found guilty of eight counts of manslaughter and one count of smuggling illegal migrants at the end of a three-week-long trial on Monday.

During his closing remarks on Friday, Senior Crown Counsel Valston Graham pointed toward a large flat-screen television in the front of the courtroom and played a fuzzy video of the accident that had been captured by a United States Coast Guard cutter in close pursuit.

Shouts could be heard on the video as a small motorboat sped through the wave-tossed seas on the leeward side of Tortola and eventually struck a rocky shoal.

“Now ask yourself,” Mr. Graham told jurors. “Was that boat being captained in a way that had true regard for the safety of the passengers?”


See the Nov. 8, 2012 edition for full coverage.