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Apr 10, 2014

Coast Guard comes under fire in Belizean waters

This story just in…a high speed chase in Belizean waters involving the Belize Coast Guard took place this evening. Our News Five team is just back and reports that three pirates were detained following a shootout at sea. According to Operations Officer, Lieutenant Greg Soberanis, the trio attempted to rob a boat about twenty miles south of Belize City but was intercepted by the marine officers. The pirates fled and the coast guard vessel set chase after them; several shots were fired at the coast guard who responded with gunfire. The bandits were finally cornered near the reef and escorted to the Coast Guard headquarters at mile four on the George Price Highway and are now in police custody. The men are all Belizeans of Hispanic and Creole descent.

 

Greg Soberanis

Lieutenant Greg Soberanis, Operations Officer, Belize Coast Guard

“At approximately twelve-fifteen this afternoon, Coast Guard received a report from members of the fishing community that one of their vessels was being robbed just about twenty miles south east from here. The vessel escaped into the creek in the area of Middle Long Caye. We immediately deployed our standby unit from this location and upon arrival at the scene, we were informed by the fishermen whose products were taken that the men were hiding somewhere in the immediate vicinity. The patrol conducted a search of the area, but the said vessel and occupants were not seen in the particular area. The patrol continued their search and on their way back to base, the vessel that was given to us as it relates to the description was sighted. We approached the vessel and immediately the vessel took off. A hot pursuit ensued where the vessel conducted evasive maneuvers, trying to elude the coast guard patrol. Eventually, the vessel after about a hour and a half of pursuit, the vessel became what was believed to be dead in the water—they had either ran out of gas or they had experienced engine failure—but this was not the case. What in reality was happening was that they were allowing the coast guard patrol to come into contact range and as soon as we came into close proximity, we were fired upon. Immediately the members of the coast guard patrol took cover and returned fire. The vessel then sped off again, began conducting evasive maneuvers—this was a small vessel and what they did was that they maneuvered themselves in the shoals along the reef. We immediately called in to base, to our headquarters, and requested additional support. Eventually, the vessel made one mistake. It eventually tried to make its way back to Middle Long Caye to what we believe they were trying to reach the creek area where it would have been difficult for our vessel to go into. But with the skill set that our coxswains have and the coxswain was able to out-maneuver the small boat and eventually they were halted, stopped and the pirates were eventually apprehended.”

 

The vessel remains impounded at the Coast Guard headquarters. 

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2 Responses for “Coast Guard comes under fire in Belizean waters”

  1. Lord LOL says:

    Sigh another incident of piracy in our waters. We need to execute one or two of these pirates to send a message to the other aspiring pirates.

  2. fishaman says:

    good job, coast guard! but dende da no pirates. dey da just tief.

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