Offshore Oil Rig “Frida 1” Leaves Belizean Waters After Brief Visit
After being in Belize’s waters for a little over twenty-four hours, MV “Frida 1”, an offshore oil rig, is now heading back into Mexican territory. According to the Belize Port Authority (BPA), the semi-submersible drilling rig came into Belize yesterday for the purpose of replenishing stores as it anchored just outside English Caye. The BPA stated that the ship was to be in port for approximately 6 hours before it returned to Mexico but, instead, it ended up spending the night. The presence of the Panamanian rig created quite a stir among residents who remained concerned up to this morning, but Port Commissioner, Darlin Gaitan said there was no need for concern. She told Love News that the ship has already departed, and agrees that the public should have been notified in advance.
Darlin Gaitan, Ports Commissioner, Belize Port Authority: “They actually were in transit the entire night and they arrived at the position at 6:00 AM this morning and so from six onwards they were formally entered into the country of Belize by the five boarding agencies and they subsequently proceeded to replenish their stores. The ship after conducting its replenishment left at 1:00 o’clock this afternoon and it’s making its way back to port in Mexico. Well we’ve never had to, we’ve had these situations before we’ve never had to inform the maritime public. Ships come into our water and we facilitate shipping every day all types of ships. The only difference in this situation is the type of vessel that’s coming to Belize even though it’s not coming to work it raises alarms and so I think it’s a good lesson for us in terms of notifying the public because it is a polarizing issue and I don’t want really the conversation to sway away from what the vessel is doing here and there is really no need to speculate as has been done in the general Belizean population now. And so if that could be avoided sure I think it’s a lesson learned for us to be able to share information on issues that the wider public may be very interested in OK what is a ship of this type of operation doing in our country? So I think it’s a good learning opportunity for us yes.”
Love News understands that the rig called, MV Frida One, was stationed in Mexico, but the crew had encountered some legal issues that required them to exit and re-enter the country.