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Feb 5, 2015

What’s the Fate of Grounded Vessel Near Caye Caulker?

Earlier this week we reported that a steel hull vessel remains aground on the reef near the island of Caye Caulker. A French captain reportedly crashed into the reef near some coral rubble when he missed the channel near Caye Caulker. That was on December thirty-first 2014 and since then; several attempts have been made to remove the thirty-five-foot vessel that is immobile in approximately five feet of water. But what is the Department of the Environment doing about the incident? According to C.E.O. in the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Adele Catzim-Sanchez, the Ministry has activated an emergency response protocol which involved the mobilization of several agencies including the Port Authority, the Fisheries Department and the Department of Environment.

 

Via Phone: Adele Catzim-Sanchez, C.E.O., Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development

“In this case, we found out that the ship which was captained by a French national, had gone aground on the reef area. Since we activated the protocol, we’ve been actively involved in a process for getting the vessel off the reef. So we’ve been going out to the area since the first of January and we’ve made several attempts to get it off the reef. We are now at the point of engaging the services of some professionals, so we have a company that is doing some additional work to get the vessel off the reef by this weekend. The process according to response protocol, the process is one first to ensure safety of personnel. So the first thing we did was ensured that everyone was safe. Secondly it was to ensure safety of the environment and to do that, we have to do an assessment; however, the assessment is incomplete because we have to get the vessel off the reef before we can complete the full assessment of the damage that has been caused. The third level in the protocol is to then protect property. And so we have been trying our best to not interfere with the integrity of the vessel itself, but we found that that has been difficult. So we are now making the required adjustment in our plan to make sure that we get the vessel off.”

 

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