Tragedy in Guatemala for Earthrace Boat

In our December 2006 issue, we featured an innovatively designed, biodiesel-powered speedboat called Earthrace that was going to attempt to set an around-the-world nautical speed record of 65 days. Skipper Pete Bethune's intent was to raise awareness of the environmental benefits—and raw power—of biodiesel fuel. That effort came to a tragic end last week when, only nine days into the attempt, Earthrace crashed into a fishing vessel off Guatemala, killing one fisherman and seriously injuring a second (the third member of the boat's crew suffered only minor injuries). Bethune and his crew did everything they could to rescue the fishermen and treat their injuries while the boat limped back to shore, likely saving the lives of the two injured sailors they were able to recover. The mission, of course, was terminated, and the crew remains in Guatemala pending an investigation. For a riveting account of the accident, see Bethune's Captain's blog . —Eric Adams