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Jun 11, 2020

Barge Sinks at Sea!

A barge carrying heavy equipment sank somewhere between Caye Chapel and Caye Caulker early Tuesday morning. The tug boat – called ‘Pulla’ – that departed Belize City for Caye Caulker belongs to Damien Chamberlain and was captained by Alex Underwood. The Belize Port Authority says that the equipment has been recovered from the scene, but the vessel must stay underwater until an investigation is complete. We are told that the Department of Environment was aware of the matter the day the incident happened and have been investigating it. Today, a team from the Belize Port Authority, accompanied by personnel from the D.O.E., went out to the site. When we spoke with Port Authority’s Commissioner, Merlene Bailey-Martinez, she says at this time they can’t say what caused the barge to go under.


On the Phone: Merlene Bailey-Martinez, Commissioner, Belize Port Authority

“What we do know is that this tug name Pulla was pulling a barge to Caye Caulker and en route to Caye Caulker, the barge sank with a truck and excavator and some steel beams. To date, the truck and excavator have been recovered. The barge is still under water. They are prohibited from moving the barge until we have done our preliminary site inspection.  From the preliminary report that we got, we still have not yet spoken to the captain. But from the preliminary report from Mr. Chamberlain, it was captained at the time by Mr. Alex Underwood. We have issued a request for the captain to come in and for the owner to come in to give a statement as to what exactly transpired even as we are conducting our site visits; as our inspectors are conducting our site visits. That is as far as we have it at this time.”


Andrea Polanco

“So, at this time you don’t have any preliminary information that may suggest why the barge sank?”


On the Phone: Merlene Bailey Martinez

“No. That is a part of our information gathering. Normally collect all the information; conduct the site visit and then make that determination.”

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