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Sep 25, 2019

Coast Guard is Gifted a New Seagoing Vessel

This afternoon at the Coast Guard Headquarters in Belize City, a twin engine marine vessel was handed over to the maritime law enforcement agency to aid in the fight against illegal activity.  Funds to have the launch built were donated by a number of organizations and businesses and today’s donation was facilitated by Oceana in Belize.  On hand at a brief ceremony was Chief Executive Officer Felix Enriquez of the Ministry of National Security and Rear Admiral John Borland, Commandant of the Belize Coast Guard.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano was there and he has the following story.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A newly built fiberglass launch was donated to the Belize Coast Guard today.  The twenty-eight-foot Bradley Pelican valued at almost one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars was officially handed over to Vice Commandant Captain Elton Bennett.  The vessel, known as Tiburon, will assist the coast guard in fighting illegal activity in Belize’s sea space.  Janelle Chanona is the Vice President of Oceana in Belize.


Janelle Chanona

Janelle Chanona, VP, OCEANA Belize

“We have a very productive and complimentary mandate as was referenced during the ceremony and in conversations with the coast guard it was called out to us that they were looking to boost their seagoing fleet with smaller, lesser draft vessels and it was something that we thought could be a very tangible demonstration of our commitment to supporting the agencies that are conducting enforcement at sea, knowing the critical role that they play.  And we immediately reached out to our partners and our allies and we got a positive response from everyone wanting to get aboard this project and through their generosity we were able to fundraise successfully for just over a hundred and twenty-four thousand dollars to procure the vessel and engines from Admiral Boat Services.”


The platform, according to Rear Admiral John Borland, will allow the coast guard to carry out its mission of enforcing maritime laws at sea, extending the agency’s operational reach and to discourage illegal activities from in Belize’s maritime domain.


John Borland

Rear Admiral John Borland, Commandant, Belize Coast Guard

“People who share common vision, common goals and a common mission and realizing that the coast guard needed a shallow water capability, Oceana offered to step in and help us fill that void and what we saw here today was the beginning of a project that is supposed to continue next year based on the allocation of resources.”


The donation was made possible through charitable partners, including Tiburon Rum.


Basil Destefano

Basil Destefano, Owner, Tiburon Rum

“I am very proud to do it, very, very proud to do it.  They notified us, Oceana, regarding that and we jumped onboard right away.  We taught it was a great cause, good opportunity and obviously to give back.  Belize has been very, very good to us so we want to give back as much as we can, for sure, definitely.  So it‘s a good step in the right direction.  We also partnered up with Oceana, we‘re going to be donate one dollar for every bottle sold in Belize going forward.  So we‘re hoping that grows quickly for everybody so we‘ll definitely be giving a lot more over time.”


Janelle Chanona

“Certainly we believe it will be used to address piracy, illegal fishing activity and certainly any illicit activities at sea which is the overall mandate of the Belize Coast Guard.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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