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Nov 2, 2011

Coast Guard receives $8 Million donation

The Belize National Coast Guard is the gate keeper of our territorial waters but it has limited resources to curb organized crime and other illicit activities that have become more prevalent and daring. As a part of an ongoing fight against transnational crime in the region, the U.S Southern Command and the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) programs made a donation of vessels valued at eight million Belize dollars to the Coast Guard. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The Belize National Coast Guard received a big boost to their fleet of vessels. Four brand new crafts are a major part of a much needed upgrade. The vessels, fully equipped to man our waters, are operation-ready:

Carlos Perdomo

Carlos Perdomo, Minister of Defence & Immigration

“Today the Coast Guard reaches a significant milestone in its young history. In the Coast Guard Medium Term Strategy, it advises us that that Coast Guard fleet should be upgraded from its aging Colombian Skiffs to a more professional fleet of vessels that would not only improve our operations but also command the respect required of a professional coast guard.”

Vinai Thummalapally

Vinai Thummalapally, U.S. Ambassador

“The Coast Guard is receiving two Boston Whalers three hundred seventy Justice Series Boats and two thirty-three fourth Defender Class safe boats valued at four million U.S dollars. The boats each include three four stroke mercury outboard engines that will be able to interdict and maneuver in coastal areas and maintain sustained high speed vector chases. It includes a ten year limited hull warranty and over the horizon tactical tracking system. A chart plotter with touch screen and G.P.S navigation equipment, radar, multiple band radio and shock mitigating seats.”

Coast Guard personnel were trained in Belize and the U.S to ensure proper maintenance of the vessels. Acting Commandant, Commander Elton Bennet says that additional security measures have been implemented for the security of the newly acquired vessels:

Elton Bennett

Commander Elton Bennett, Acting Commandant, BNCG

“What we did is to put measures in place, physical security measures but we also did an inquiry and we looked at the different systems that we have in place, for example we have increased the guard strength three-fold. We also looked at our rules of engagement, you know at that night on that night shots were fired by the guard men. Unfortunately the thieves got away, but we are looking at the rules of engagement and other physical security measures such as cameras, and supervisory checks.”

The new addition to the Coast Guard’s fleet was commissioned with the symbolic breaking of bottles of champagne by the spouses of commanders. These commissioned vessels will assist in the much needed security of our maritime borders.

Vinai Thummalapally

“The United States and regional leaders believe this investment will yield major long term security progress in our region and will enable the Government of Belize to address the transnational threats of terrorism, illicit trafficking of humans, weapons, drugs and illicit merchandise.”

Andrea Polanco

“Is there any specific area where these vessels will be assigned to?”

Commander Elton Bennett

“The two new Boston Whalers will work down south, operating from a Fountain Caye operating base. They will patrol the southern border with Guatemala and with Honduras. The two safe boats will be deployed to Ambergris Caye. They will patrol the northern border with Belize and Mexico. They will patrol the areas of Corozal Bay, Sarteneja, Ambergris, San Pedro, Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve, Caye Caulker Marine reserve, Hol Chan Marine Reserve. That area is very busy with maritime activities but also with illicit activities; drug trafficking, contraband and even possible human smuggling.”

As a part of the donation, the Belize National Coast Guard also received two F-Five Fifty Ford Trucks and a forty-foot container of spare parts. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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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10 Responses for “Coast Guard receives $8 Million donation”

  1. Belizean says:

    8 million, government will have to put a special minister in place to see how they can pocket that money

  2. Clifford says:

    More money to fund drug trafficking in the Belize waters!!!

  3. belizean bookie says:


    100/1 – 3 months
    50/1 – 6 months
    25/1- 1 year

    *Error – Field “2 years” invalid. Equipment would have broken before then due to poor handling*

  4. islander says:

    Hope they dont run on top of the reef like they did a week ago infront of San Pedro.

  5. louisville,ky says:

    You ignorant nay sayers make me sick. No one can steal the 8 million dollars, you idiot. That’s the cost of the vessels and spare parts big dummy. Just plain effin ignorant!!

  6. Get it right says:

    Aye typical jealous cruffy. This is something good and some of you try to find something negative to say. Louisville, ky said it right.

  7. cali says:

    know ask for about two helicopter.dont settle for only 4 boats, they can afford it

  8. veteran says:

    keep given them our tax $$$$$$$$$$$$$ ,all those crooks aka lawyers in the pup and udp mafia do is pucket them self.

  9. good fuh unnu says:

    Consider that all the visa money the took from us Belizeans and didn’t give any visa.

  10. Elgin Martinez says:

    They’ve stolen a grader and no one was held accountable,Who is to say that they can’t do thesame with these vessels.Any and everything is possible in Belize.

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