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May 12, 2014

3 Honduran nationals rescued at sea

Three Honduran men set out to sea last Tuesday heading to Placencia but they never got to their intended destination. Their vessel apparently experienced mechanical problems and the trio drifted for six days. The Coast Guard was put on alert and after midnight, the trio was spotted by a local fisherman in the area of Columbus Caye. Weak and hungry, but not frightened, they were transported to the headquarters of the Belize Coast Guard. They told News Five today that soon after they started their fishing expedition, their troubles began. Duane Moody has a report.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Three Honduran nationals traveling from the Bay Island of Guanaja, Honduras were reported lost at sea last Tuesday. The men, according to the Coast Guard, were said to have been traveling to Placencia, but when they did not arrive, the authorities were notified. It was not until six days later, around one a.m. today, that the trio was located onboard their skiff around Columbus Caye located thirty-two miles southeast of Belize City.

 

Greg Soberanis

Lt. Greg Soberanis, Operations Officer, Belize National Coast Guard

“Coast Guard headquarters received a phone call this morning just after seven a.m. from one Mister Jaime Rivas, a local fisherman that a vessel had drifted into their vessel at about one-thirty this morning. On board the vessel were three Honduras nationals.  After he reported this to us and he gave us their names, we then realized that these three Honduran nationals were three individuals who were reported missing at sea from the sixth of May 2014. The report that we received was that they were severely dehydrated, extremely hungry and extremely weak.  The initial call that we received was from a gentleman who resides down south. Apparently, the family knew him in Belize so they made initial contact with him because they were supposed to reach Belize on that date and did not arrive. So he called because he knew we have a patrol down south in Hunting Caye and asked us to be on the lookout when we’re conducting patrols to see if we came across the vessel. We also had a call on Friday from our friends in Honduras giving us the same information that three of their nationals were heading to Belize, but did not arrive. So our patrol was put on the lookout and alert.”

 

Around one-thirty this afternoon, a coast guard vessel maneuvered through the choppy Caribbean Sea at a moderate pace; tugging behind it was the thirty-four-foot vessel, Japhet, in which the men were traveling. On board the Coast Guard vessel were twenty-six year old Danly Kelly, seventeen year old Brian Herrera and nineteen year old Don Delber Hunter. Contrary to the information provided to the authorities, Kelly, who identified himself as a fisherman, says that they were fishing approximately eight miles from their homeland when they experienced mechanical failure.

 

Danly Kelly, Rescued

“We were just fishing about eight miles around the island when we had engine problem. She stopped and we checked the fuel filter and afterwards, we tried to start her, and we couldn’t start her cause the battery went dead.  We drifted and all we had all day was water—from Tuesday until last night twelve o’clock when some fishermen picked us up and gave us some food. So it was almost a week that we hadn’t eaten.”

 

Reporter

“How did you feel when you finally saw someone who would save you all?”

 

Danly Kelly

Danly Kelly

“Well we felt happy. We had hope then.”

 

Reporter

“Were you all ever concerned that you would be forever lost at sea?”

 

Danly Kelly

“No, no. I had a GPS and I was checking what part we were floating to.”

 

Reporter

“Were you frightened?”

 

Don Delber Hunter, Rescued

“No frightened, but weak.”

 

Reporter

“When did the boat start to drift; that you lost control?”

 

Don Delber Hunter

Don Delber Hunter

“Tuesday.”

 

Reporter

“How did you feel when you saw someone finally saw you all this morning in Belizean waters?”

 

Don Delber Hunter

“Happy.”

 

Reporter

“You thought that maybe you all would be lost at sea forever?”

 

Don Delber Hunter

“Yeah.”

 

Lt. Greg Soberanis

“We immediately deployed our Quick Reaction Team to the site with a medic on board that will be able to render first aid on site. That was the initial action. Currently what we are doing is that these three Honduran nationals will be brought to Coast Guard Headquarters where they will be further transported to the hospital to receive further medical assistance and liaison will be conducted through the Honduras Embassy for them to return to Honduras.”

 

The men were escorted inside the headquarters where interviews were conducted. Duane Moody for News Five.

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2 Responses for “3 Honduran nationals rescued at sea”

  1. the voice says:

    Belize should check the boat for cocaine residue. To me they dont look like fishermen. They look like drug runners. G.p.s and everything. From Honduras? Please!!!

  2. I di tell yuh says:

    The story seems well put together, first the story says , 3 Honduran fishers heading to Placencia suddenly they just drifted off the island for many days ??? I honestly don’t believe it . I would more believe that they are illegal fishers from Honduras and yes of course they had mechanical problems that is the reason why you see them in our country. Many fishers come to Belize to fish illegally at night. From Guatemala and from Honduras. The report says that they were heading to Placencia, do they have Belizean fishing license ? It just seem all too pretty to believe and further more what can you say to the authorities ? Well we were fishing and ended up here , what was the weather like during that time because East wind surely wouldn’t bring they from their island to Placencia, COME ONN .

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