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Mar 29, 2011

Helga, sunken cargo ship, poses risk to marine resources

Meanwhile, Helga, the Panamanian flagged vessel carrying a cargo of salt to Honduras is still at the bottom of the sea near the barrier reef. But will the capsized vessel be left in Belizean waters? That’s a possibility, depending on the outcome of an investigation, which will be carried out by the Belize Port Authority and the Panama Maritime Authority. Other agencies, including the Department of Environment, Belize Coast Guard and the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute will also be involved in the investigation to determine what threats the sunken vessel pose to the reef system. The primary concern is that the diesel fuel and engine oil contained in the cargo ship will leak out into to sea, damaging the ecosystem. The Port Authority says that removing the ship might be a challenge, since it is at a depth of seven hundred meters; that’s two thousand, two hundred and ninety-six feet. Helga had a crew of eleven Cuban nationals when it capsized three miles east of Caye Caulker on March nineteenth. Only eight of the men have been rescued and have since returned home to Cuba. The captain, chief engineer and helmsman were never found and the Belize Coast Guard official called off its search last Thursday.

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6 Responses for “Helga, sunken cargo ship, poses risk to marine resources”

  1. Bz says:

    I hope they have a solid plan.

  2. Bruce says:

    I’m guessing but this is the same response and expertise needed for drilling offshore?
    Don’t move to fast can’t see a problem yet! Maybe one will surface soon!

  3. Bengal says:

    Once again this shows the ineffectiveness of our leaders.
    Where is the minister of Natural Resources?
    And what is his position on this situation?
    Yes the diesel and engine fuel pose a threat to the reef and its ecosytem; but what about the cargo itself?
    The salt will eventually seep into the ocean also.
    Come on Mr Minister and Mr Prime Minister.
    The heckling of Mr Cardona is over with ; now lets start doing some work.
    Start serving the people and the country of Belize and get off your hind @$$#$.

  4. Earl Grey says:

    Thank GOD it’s not an OIL LEAK……………….

  5. 50 Cent says:

    Who Cares…..Belize is already screwed and gone to hell.

  6. Swamp Dragon says:

    That is very deep. I don’t claim to know the potential destruction to the reef, but it seems like it wouldn’t pose that much risk really. As for salt, I may be ignorant here as well, but will salt have an effect in SALT water? Especially at over 2000 ft deep? Not that it should be ignored. This is very minimal compared to the potential oil spills caused by offshore drilling. Which are constant. There are always oil spills happening in the US, Mexico, and beyond that are kept quiet because it is considered non-significant. Louisiana just had another spill with oil at the surface near Grand Isle.
    A Texas Co. assumed responsibility. It made the news for two days and nothing more has been reported on it. Now the people in Louisiana are torn between keeping the coastal areas clean and processing more oil and gas. One day they are crying for the oil companies to be seized and pay billions of dollars to everyone, the next they are crying for more offshore drilling permits so they can have their high paying jobs. The temptation to collect the money is too much for many. The end result is a wasted environment, which in itself was the true treasure in the first place and the number one income producer. Now they have crabs dying, dolphins dying, the whale sharks that would normally be there are in Yucatan. Most people don’t believe it is safe to eat the seafood at all. Even in Florida where the oil was not visible, People are worried about their catch. This is just a small bit of pollution compared to the possibilities and expectations of deep water oil exploration.

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