Eleven fishermen, who were reported missing at sea, have been found alive and in good health in the vicinity of Turneffe Atoll. The Belize Coast Guard was deployed last week Thursday and it was not until Saturday they came across the vessel, Nayadia. Love news spoke with Lieutenant Roque Canul, the Operations Officer for the Belize Coast Guard who said after coming in contact with the vessel, they learned it was not in distress; however, concerns were raised since the vessel was overdue.
Lieutenant Roque Canul – Operations Officer, Belize Coast Guard: “From the beginning this vessel was established as an overdue vessel, why? Simply because at no point in time did we receive a direct call saying that yes we have the boat, we have seen the boat and those people are worst case scenario dead for this specific case so that was the entire situation evolving on Saturday and this happened around 9 in the morning through a joint effort with TASA and the Belize Coast Guard. We made up a search team, a search unit was deployed to actually comb the area of Cockroach Caye to the Western side of Turneffe Rendezvous Point. It was that unit that found the sails boat apparently coming from the direction of the Lighthouse Reef. Upon being boarded it was found out that thankfully everyone was in good health conditions and all the specifics or particulars of the persons were taken and their story was that upon heading out they encountered a cold front and we all know that cold front was passing through the country a couple of days ago so they had to find a safe harbor in the area of Turneffe. They remained there for like 5 days. After the weather calmed down then they proceeded into Lighthouse Reef where they did another couple days and according to that they also claimed that they met another bad weather while out at Lighthouse Reef and that just prolonged their stay.”
After the search party came across the vessel, it headed to Belize City, where the fishermen were reunited with family members who were anxiously waiting. Love news also spoke with Fanny Cobb who said four of her loved ones were on board the vessel.
Wife of a Fisherman: “They went Tuesday, they were supposed to come in 8 days but the emergency was that somebody come to our Village in Copper Bank and tell us that the boat was filled and how it was turned over and they said that they didn’t see anybody from the boat that’s why the people got worried and they tried to find out about their families and that’s why we tried to see if we could look for them or but they say that because of the the weather they were not able to work so they just stay there for four days while they couldn’t work so they say they will take longer to see if they can work and do something to bring for our family.”
The fishermen are from Copperbank Village in the Corozal District. Canul advise fishermen to stick to their plan to avoid raising concerns.