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Feb 11, 2020

D.O.E. and Port Authority Investigate Grounding at Long Caye

Officials from the Department of Environment, the Fisheries Department, the Belize Port Authority and the Belize Audubon Society today travelled to the site of a recent grounding on an aquarium near Long Caye in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. On Sunday, a vessel, namely the Samadhi, which is registered in Cayman Island, had dropped its anchor on the reef; despite mooring pins in the area. While the extent of the damage is currently being determined, News Five can confirm that correspondence has been issued to the owners about the investigation and pending charges. But News Five has also confirmed that the pleasure craft is registered under the corporation, Big Dog Marine Limited.


Merlene Bailey-Martinez

Merlene Bailey-Martinez, Ports Commissioner

“It’s a four member team comprised of all the regulatory agencies that would be concerned with that incident. So they were deployed this morning to the site. And that’s about as far as we have gotten. We have collected the documentation. I do know the vessel was boarded in Punta Gorda; it was cleared in Belize City and sometime between it being cleared here and its actual departure, we believe that’s when the incident happened. So it had already received a clearance from us to depart before the incident happened. The investigation will consist of actually assessing the physical damage, but also to interview. Hopefully we get to interview somebody who we believe is an eyewitness to the event because of course that is important because no regulatory agency was out there when the incident happened. So it is important that we get sworn statements. So I have given instructions for our officer in San Pedro to seek an interview and to get a statement, a sworn statement from the person who actually saw the incident.”

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