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Mar 20, 2019

Details of the sailboat that ran aground!

The Belize Coast Guard has issued a statement with the details surrounding a sail boat that ran aground on the Sapodilla Caye Marine Reserve. According to the Coast Guard, they were aware of the incident that happened in the early hours of the morning of Thursday, March fourteenth. The Hunting Caye F.O.B. received a distress call from a vessel called CHITITTU where the captain reported that they ran aground. A search and rescue was carried out immediately where the officers found six American nationals on board the fort-eight-foot single hull sail boat that was registered in the U.S.A. According to the Coast Guard, the passengers were taken to Placencia and handed over to immigration authorities. And contrary to reports that the passengers had all left, the Coast Guard says that the captain of the vessel was detained for two days at Hunting Caye. His whereabouts is not clear at this point. According to the release, last week the D.O.E. visited the site to conduct assessments. Today, when we asked the Minister of Environment, Omar Figueroa to comment on the matter he told us that he didn’t have the details and he was awaiting a report. But Oceana Belize Vice President Janelle Chanona did offer a comment on the matter.


Janelle Chanona, VP, Oceana Belize

Janelle Chanona

“We were sent photos I belie yesterday evening of a sailboat that ground in the Sapodilla range. I don’t know if that’s the same vessel you are talking about. We understand that the owner left the country. I do believe that there has been a report generated by one of the government regulators. I am trying to get a copy of that to see what can be done. If the person left the country it makes things very hard to take legal action in so far as the owner but it is also at looking at what sort of damage has been done to the sight to see if the vessel can be lifted from where it is. Or if is one of the situations more harm to try to remove it from the sight. Groundings overall again in terms of responsible maritime movement that we want to make sure that all boaters realize that there are certain places where you can’t go or you have to be aware of your surroundings. And it is unfortunate that especially because our resources are so important that these things happen. And even more so we can’t even get follow through to get compensation get the fines implemented against the parties responsible.”

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