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Oct 1, 2021

Belize Coast Guard Rescue Four Honduran Fishermen at Sea

A search and rescue operation was successfully carried out by the Belize Coast Guard on Tuesday which resulted in four Honduran fishermen being saved after being adrift for three days on the high seas.  The vessel they were traveling in began experiencing mechanical failure near Amoa, an area of the Caribbean Sea in Honduran waters.  When the Fatima 20 was spotted in the vicinity of Tom Owens, several miles outside of Hunting Caye, the coast guard were notified and rescue mission was launched.  Captain Elton Bennett, Commandant of the Belize Coast Guard, provided additional details.


Captain Elton Bennett, Commandant, Belize Coast Guard

“On the twenty-eighth of September, the Belize Coast Guard received information from locals in the area that there was a vessel that was drifting somewhere around five miles north of Hunting Caye, this is the Tom Owens area. We deployed our unit from Hunting Caye and we were able to locate that vessel, Fatima 20. There were four Honduran fishermen onboard. We went onboard, assessed the situation and we discovered it to be a genuine case of people in distress. After interviewing the individuals, we found that they were fishing in the area of Amoa, just north of Honduras, and they had lost propulsion and were drifting for over three days out at sea, through the fishing lane and into Belizean waters. So what began as a fishing operation inside Honduras ended up as a search and rescue case in Belizean waters. Our team was very efficient in working this case. They assessed the individuals, they were weak. As well, they ran out of food and water.  They were able to supply those basic needs to them. We allowed them to remain at our operating base for the night and then today we are taking them into Punta Gorda so that they can make their way back to Honduras. What happened is that the vessel cannot be remedied, the engine is experiencing problems that cannot be resolved on the sea. So they will make their way back by land and then we’ll work with the Honduran navy to ensure that we coordinate those individuals that will be coming over to Belize side to retrieve the vessel.”

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