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Apr 17, 2023

Belize Coast Guard Rescue 7 Persons at Sea

On Sunday morning, the Belize Coast Guard successfully conducted a search and rescue operation about three nautical miles from Sarteneja Village in the Corozal District.  Several employees from Crimson Inn in Chunox Village were onboard a boat heading to San Pedro when the vessel began taking in water. The captain of the boat managed to send off a distress call to the Belize Coast Guard and a team was deployed to the area. They soon realised that the vessel had submerged and while two persons were found near the boat, another five had drifted away – holding onto an icebox. They were in the water for about thirty to forty-five minutes before the rescue team showed up and luckily everyone was saved. Petty Officer First Class Dobian Montero is the Belize Coast Guard Commander based in Consejo. He shares details of the rescue.


Dobian Montero

PO1 Dobian Montero, Consejo Commander, Belize Coast Guard

“Just before we departed, we received another call stating that the vessel in distress has capsized so it was no longer a distress, but a search and rescue. Our patrol immediately departed this location en route to that location. I must say that the weather was very rough yesterday morning; the sea state was very rough. We managed to leave from here and conducted our search and rescue in that location. About eight-fifteen thereabout, our lookout sighted what appears to be an object submerged in the water so we head towards it and it was the vessel that had capsized. At the time, there were two male individuals hanging from the bow of the vessel. When we arrived there, they told us that there were another five personnel drifting on the water, so it was a total of seven persons. So we decided to conduct a search and rescue for those five individuals because they became priority now. The lookout spotted a white object about a kilometre away from where we were and when we approach, we saw some shadows around the object. It was an icebox and fortunately the five persons were hanging onto that icebox. We retrieved them from the water and secured them on our vessel. From there we departed that location and headed towards where the capsized vessel was and retrieved the other two individuals. No major injuries were reported from the crew; they were all just cold because o the water, the weather and they were a bit dehydrated. What we gathered from Miss Kimberly, the owner of the vessel, is that when they arrived somewhere in that location, like how I mentioned the sea state was rough. The vessel dipped and took in water and that water caused the engine to lose power and therein shut down. With all that sea state, the boat was being bounced around and apparently the hull of the vessel cracked and that was the major factor that led the vessel to capsize.”

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