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Dec 27, 2019

Trial Farm Village Councillor Dies in Boat Collision at Sea

Oscar Cornel

The body of Oscar Cornel, a councillor with the Trial Farm Village Council in Orange Walk, was discovered floating after midday today. Cornel was missing at sea since Thursday evening after a small boat he was travelling in, namely Baby Giselle, collided with a bigger boat, Sir Alex several miles west of the island of Caye Caulker.  According to the Belize Coast Guard, reports are that the vessels were to make an exchange at sea, but instead a collision occurred. The impact sent Cornel and boat captain Mario Rosales overboard. While Rosales managed to swim some two miles to Cayo Rosario, the blood stains in the small boat suggests that Cornel was injured before the impact threw him overboard. The Sir Alex, which was captained by Jermaine Williams, was carrying five tourists; luckily they escaped with minor injuries. Operations Officer Lieutenant Roque Canul told News Five that they were contacted just after seven p.m. and they immediately began searching.  Of note is that the interview was conducted prior to the discovery of Cornel’s body.


Roque Canul

Lt. Roque Canul, Operations Officer, Belize Coast Guard

“Information received was that it was two boats from Natilo’s Express Tours which collided in that area. We asked for the pertinent information for us to start a search and since then, we’ve launched search operations in that area.”


Duane Moody

“Talk to us about what you guys found on the scene.”


Lt. Roque Canul

“On arrival at the scene, we found the guide, the captain of the smaller boat—by the way the name is Baby Giselle, the smaller boat—we found him in an area called Rosario Caye. He was at a pier at that location. According to him, he fell overboard and he managed to swim to that location. However his deck hand, or the other person that was along with him in the boat, has not been found and he is still missing at this point in time. And for now, that’s our objective; he is the aim to locate him.  There should be a marine casualty investigation team on the ground. They will, based on their investigation, will find out what really occurred. What we received is that these two boats were to meet in an area behind Caye Caulker to conduct a transfer; however, due to poor visibility, the collision occurred.  Information we received is that blood was found in the smaller skiff; that has led us to believe that he got injured and fell overboard because we found the boat, however, he was not onboard so that leads to the assumption that both of them were thrown overboard. The search units are out there presently conducting searches. They have been given search areas that they will conduct their efforts on and that will be ongoing for the next forty-eight hours.”

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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