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Apr 19, 2016

Coastguard Officer Accidentally Shoots Himself

John Borland

A Coast Guard Petty Officer Class Three is tonight recovering at the K.H.M.H. after he was injured at the Coast Guard’s Forward Operating Base in Consejo. From a very preliminary investigation into the incident, it appears that the officer was clearing his weapon when it accidentally discharged, injuring him on the hand and leg. The injuries are not life threatening, but today Rear Admiral John Borland told News Five that while the first priority is the care of the officer, they will work diligently and immediately to get to the bottom of the shooting.

 

On the Phone: Rear Admiral John Borland, Commandant, Belize Coast Guard

“What you call a shooting is what we call a negligent discharge where a member of the coastguard who had just taken over duties at the Consejo Forward Operating Base negligently discharged his firearm which resulted in him being injured in one of his fingers and I think his left foot. The Coastguard transported him to the Corozal Hospital for treatment; his injuries are not life threatening and yes he was moved to Belize City. He is at K.H.M.H. right now where his injuries were treated. The coastguard has since started an internal investigation for the purpose of examining what exactly led to that weapon being negligently discharged; where we examine the chain of events. An investigation is being done in not the purpose to find anyone at fault or to charge, but with the objective to improve the system so that such an incident does not reoccur. At this stage, we have not established what exactly happened; we know it was a negligent discharge because he did not discharge the weapon in line of duty, meaning I am firing or engaging a target. So that is where we are at, at the moment.”

 

Mike Rudon

“Sir, if you indeed find out that he was negligent in terms of perhaps playing with the firearm or anything of that sort, what could be the repercussions for him after the investigation?”

 

On the Phone: Rear Admiral John Borland

“Like I said the internal investigation, which we call a port of inquiry, is not solely to blame. What we do know is that he was in the process of clearing these weapons, which is done routinely at the station as what we call a loading and unloading day, where one is relieved of his shift, he would clear his weapon to make it safe until he resumes another shift. So we don’t know if it was a malfunction of the weapon or if it was negligent, but when that is established we will have a better position from which we stand and ensure that the matter is put to rest.”

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