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Jun 14, 2023

Boat Captain Says Port Authority Refuses to Renew His Master License

Today, News Five spoke with Caribbean Sprinter’s boat captain Christian Rivero, who has written to the Office of the Ombudsman seeking assistance in what he describes as unfair treatment by the Belize Port Authority. Rivero has been a boat captain for thirty plus years, but last Thursday when he headed over to the Belize Port Authority office to renew his master license, the card was taken away from him and he was told that it would not be renewed. He says that later that day he was called to return for the license; only that it was still not renewed. Rivero says that he was later told that there is a summons that is pending for him from an incident that occurred back in May which is essentially blocking the renewal. Rivero explained to News Five how it got to this point.

 

Christian Rivero

Christian Rivero, Boat Captain, Caribbean Sprinter

“I went to renew my boat captain license and for some reason, I don’t know what are the issues that Port Authority has with this company or any employer, my license was denied to me. They said they cannot renew it because for some reason they are saying that I have a summons that has not been issued to me. They haven’t given me a call or anything. So I was going like a week ahead of time to renew it and that was refused. Right here Friday, if that is not issued to me, I won’t be able to drive any vessel; I cannot get a job without my captain license so I am just trying to see. I hope that they can renew it as soon as possible.”

 

Duane Moody

“What is the reason that they are giving you?”

 

Christian Rivero

“I can recall May sixteenth, I was coming from my routine from San Pedro to Belize City. On my arrival to Belize City, on the no wake zone coming from the tourist village into the harbour, the Port Authority approached me near the San Pedro Express company. So they told me that I needed to stop at a dock that I thought it was unfair to stop there for the safety of my passengers and for the engines and the boat itself. I told them I could not stop somewhere that is not my destination. So they told me if I do not comply with them, they will give me a summons. I told them my terminal is only like three minutes away from where you guys want me to stop. So I told them I will just go to my terminal. If you guys need to do the random check, just do it there; it is safer for me to do it there. And then, they just approached me at our terminal and they just told me that they needed to get my boat captain license. I gave it to them, they took information from my license and they just told me that I am going to receive a summons. But I haven’t received any call or anything at the moment. And so, I guess that’s the reason they don’t want to renew my license.”


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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