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Apr 20, 2022

Owner/Operator of Vessel Could Settle Fine Out of Court

The owner/operator of the vessel will be given an opportunity to settle the matter out of court if they so choose. But when we contacted the owner, Albert Loewen this afternoon, he explained that he never violated the prohibition to sail order because he didn’t know about the order and two, the vessel never sailed. He said they simply removed the vessel to repair it. But regardless of Loewen’s claim, The Belize Coast Guard has the vessel under surveillance while the Department of Environment is investigating the severity of the leak. Celi Cho of the Department explained that it was not oil pollution that occurred.


Voice of: Celi Cho, Environmental Officer, Department of Environment

“It’s not leaking oil into the sea per se, but instead, how the engine operates and the location of the exhaust pipe, it’s the exhaust coming out of the pipe that it’s so close to the water that when it’s operating it mixes with the water and then leaves that film on the surface of the water. It’s when the vessel is operating that’s when the film is emitted from the engine, so if it doesn’t sail then there’s no emission into the sea. So Port has their legislation that they are looking under for which they have issued the prohibition on sail and any fines could be levied under their legislation. Under our legislation, it would be different fines levied or different charges levied because we are looking at the protection of the environment while Port Authority is looking at the vessel itself and its ability to navigate the sea.”

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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