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Jun 3, 2015

Coast Guard Provides Further Details on Tropic Air Mishap

Tonight, there are further details and exclusive images of a Tropic single-engine aircraft which dipped in the Caribbean Sea soon after it departed the Phillip Goldson International Airport in transit to Roatan, Honduras. The incident happened just before five o’clock on Tuesday evening. The CESSNA-182 Skylane, piloted at the time by Senior Captain Denfield Borland, reportedly began experiencing mechanical problems mid-flight when weather conditions were not optimal.  While the experienced Tropic Air pilot radioed that information to air traffic control at the P.G.I.A., he was unable to prevent the plane from diving into the waters below.  Onboard with him were American national Arthur Rogers and Honduran National Eddie Bodden. Incredibly, all three men escaped the accident unscathed and were found atop the partially submerged aircraft minutes later by a joint team deployed from nearby Calabash and Half Moon Cayes.  It was a bold rescue operation in view of marine conditions at the time of the emergency touch-down.  This afternoon, Vice Commander Elton Bennett of the Belize National Coast Guard, elaborated on details of the successful search and rescue effort.


Elton Bennett

Elton Bennett, Vice Commander, BNCG

“Yesterday at about 4:45 we received information from [the Department of] Civil Aviation that a small aircraft went down somewhere in between the Turneffe Atoll and Lighthouse Reef Atoll.  We informed and dispatched our unit from the forward operating base just out of Calabash Caye and we also deployed a joint unit that we had at the Half Moon Caye along with park rangers from the Audubon Society.  At exactly 5:05, just twenty minutes after receiving the call, the search unit arrived on the scene and rescued the three persons from onboard the aircraft that went down.  Upon arriving at the scene the three persons were on top of the aircraft, the aircraft had not yet sunk.  They were rescued from that location and taken to Half Moon Caye where a coastguard vessel transported them from that area into Turneffe.”



“Are you able to talk to us about what the officers observed with the plane?”


Elton Bennett

“At this time the plane is semi-submerged.  There’s an investigation team on the scene from [the Department of] Civil Aviation.  During high tide you can observe a portion of the aircraft, so the aircraft is semi-submerged and the investigation will indicate what the future course of action will be.  The owners of the aircraft will determine what action they will take as it relates to the aircraft.”


Isani Cayetano

“With the correspondence with your assets on the ground were you given any indication of the physical conditions of these survivors?”


Elton Bennett

“Yes.  From what we understand the survivors were in very good health, good condition. There were no medical casualties to report.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Coast Guard Provides Further Details on Tropic Air Mishap”

  1. Belizean Pride says:

    I guess tropic has bad luck with their planes. They are always falling down and it’s really a twice thinker issue before you try to ride one after this.

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