Personnel from the Belize Coast Guard who were stationed at Twin Caye and Glovers Reef were called out on a search and rescue mission yesterday morning in the southern waters of Belize. The Belize Coast Guard were alerted of three men who were adrift at sea after Dangriga Police had gotten information that someone had swam ashore to Button Bay Caye seeking help for himself and his three other companions. Love News spoke to Lieutenant Arnoldo Cobb, Operations Officer for the Belize Coast Guard who apprised us of the mission.
“A caretaker on the island Buttonbay Caye and informed them that a person had landed on his island who was claiming to be adrift for over 24 days. Upon receiving that information we immediately dispatched our patrols in the nearby vicinity those being Twin Caye, Glover’s Reef, the Hudson Caye area but also we informed our partner agencies about the situation who were close by the area to assist. What we did was talk to the guy who was adrift and he mentioned that they lost some fuel and they were in Honduras fishing and ended up losing some fuel, I don’t know how, but they decided that they wanted to go back to Honduras but the weather caused them to start drifting. “
The Belize Coast Guard received the call at around eight thirty yesterday morning and were searching for about four hours with assistance from SEA, the Southern Environmental Association. That search, however, came to an end when fishermen in sighted the vessel with the three men. According to Lieutenant Cobb, the four Honduran men have been adrift for twenty four days, since April 11.
“He mentioned that it was four of them on onboard the vessel so what we did is that we contacted the rest of the patrols and informed them of the situation and an immediate search and rescue began to occur in the area. The search lasted for about four hours and then later in the afternoon some local fishermen informed us about seeing a vessel in the area that matched the description of what we were looking for. What we did was dispatched our personnel to the area which was the area of Spider Caye and at that location we found the other three guys adrift and upon speaking to them they mentioned that they were adrift since the 11th of April from Honduras. So far from the reports we got is that all of them are in a stable condition. Yesterday when we found the first guy he was very dehydrated and we transported him to the Independence Polyclinic and the other men that we found were also transported there as well. From information I received today all of them are in stable conditions, three of them are possibly going to be released soon while one was having experiences of back problems but it was nothing major.”
The four men rescued are 24-year-old, Iracklio Zelaya Lainez; 29-year-old, Chain Torrez Macien; 58-year-old, FilimonPaisano Valeriano and 52-year-old, Hereneo Francisco Kirengton. The Honduran Embassy has been notified of the situation and they will be aiding the four persons to return home once their health has been stabilised.