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Belize Coast Guard: “Guatemalan vessel that ran aground was legally in Belize”

In Monday’s newscast, we told you that a Guatemalan singer, Carlos Peña had to be rescued by Belizean authorities after his boat ran aground on the reef near San Pedro Town.  Today, Love News spoke with Commander Elton Bennett of the Belize Coast Guard about the incident.

Commander Elton Bennett

“The vessels name was Amador. A sixty ft. pleasure craft that is quite frequent in Belizean waters. On Saturday on the 21st of October 2017. We received information that a vessel had run aground near caribou key. That is about 21 miles south east of Dangriga. On board were 10 persons, 8 passengers and 2 crew members. We immediately deployed one of our coasts guards vessels that were in the area. When we arrived on the scene I noticed there were two vessels towing the vessel off the reef. Therefore we acted as observers to ensure that all safety measures were kept and we continued patrolling the area and we discovered that all persons on board were safe and that there were casualties reported aboard the vessel.”

Bennett went on to tell us what caused the vessel to run aground.

Commander Elton Bennett

“During your initial investigation the patrol discovered that the captain had engine failure. He claimed that his starboard engine failed causing him to lose propulsion and power and eventually lost maneuverability of his vessel and eventually ran on the reef.”

There is a task force presently deployed, Bennett said, to the area examining the reef for any damages that may have occurred.

Commander Elton Bennett

“There is grounding out at sea. There is a task force that is deployed, that task force comprise of the Belize coast guard members of the department of environment, The Port Authority and were foreign nationals are concerned members of the Department of Immigration and Foreign Affairs. That task force was assembled yesterday and today they are still conducting investigation. What happen is that they would go on the scene and conduct a dive of where the ground occurred and there after produce and estimate of the damage.”

Bennett said that the vessel frequents Belize, was legally in our waters and that the incident was minor; therefore, there wasn’t any need to detain the vessel. In the event the investigation reveals a cause to levy charges against the owner of the vessel, Bennett said he could be reached.