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#340815 - 06/10/09 01:45 PM Another vessel runs aground;signals need for buoys
Marty Offline
We have reported on various recent marine disasters along Belize’s Barrier Reef and tonight there is another accident that occurred north of Ambergris Caye last weekend. A 32-ft. vessel belonging to the Sueño del Mar resort ran aground in the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve, and there was some controversy surrounding the accident as it allegedly went unreported. Today, the Ecosystems Management Unit Coordinator for the Fisheries Department, James Azueta, addressed those reports and gave us his assessment of this alarming environmental problem.

James Azueta, E.M.U., Fisheries Department
“Well, last weekend we had a vessel, a 32-footer red and white vessel, went aground inside the Bacalar Chico marine Reserve.”

Jose Sanchez
“This vessel came from where?”

James Azueta
“It belongs to Sueño del Mar, which is one of the neighboring resorts in the Bacalar Chico Area.”

Jose Sanchez
“There were some allegations that the officer who visited the scene did not report it.”

James Azueta
“That’s not true. Actually, it was reported to the manager for the Marine Reserve, but the grounding was on a sandy area and a little dead patch reef. So the damage was insignificant and it was actually going to be put in the monthly report, but it didn’t come up to the higher chain of command because, like I said, the damage was very minimal.”

Jose Sanchez
“Even though the damage was minimal, a lot of environmentalists are saying that there needs to be more mooring buoys out in San Pedro because you had the accidents as with the Mexican billionaire Ricardo Salinas-Pliego with the Azteca, and other catamarans in the past month.”

James Azueta
“Well, we are in the process of putting a lot of more mooring buoys out, especially in the marine reserves. In fact, starting next month, we will start to put out 15 mooring buoys in the reserves and also there are other NGO’s who are putting mooring buoys outside the Marine Reserve. In fact, we have over 250 mooring buoys presently spread all over the country. We expect that number to grow to, probably, double within the next 3 to 4 months.”

Jose Sanchez
“In your assessment, why do you think we have so many ships or vessels running aground near the reef or around San Pedro?”

James Azueta
“Two things, one of them: people are more conscious of what happens and those are being reported and two, we have more traffic in Belize; there are lot more vessels in Belizean waters.”

Jose Sanchez
“Do you think the buoy is the only possible solution? Is there anything else?”

James Azueta
“No, the best practice is actually another good solution where they should know how to navigate, avoid current systems and go into deeper waters.”

Channel 5

#340816 - 06/10/09 02:02 PM Re: Another vessel runs aground;signals need for buoys [Re: Marty]
SimonB Offline
“No, the best practice is actually another good solution where they should know how to navigate, avoid current systems and go into deeper waters.”

Well heck, if they had valid charts people could do just that.

#340823 - 06/10/09 02:25 PM Re: Another vessel runs aground;signals need for buoys [Re: SimonB]
skippy Offline
This official is talking mooring buoys, not marking buoys. The idea of charts just doesn't occur to these guys.
I hope that someday we can put aside our fears and prejudices and just laugh at people.

#340838 - 06/10/09 03:37 PM Re: Another vessel runs aground;signals need for buoys [Re: skippy]
Peter Jones Offline
Who are "they" in this context? I've recently been trying to flesh out the scant information that the Belize Audubon Society publish as their annual "Accounts" - one line totalling all income, another totalling all expenditure, and neither looking credible - but I am constantly stonewalled. They seem to hold themselves above public accountability, which of course then opens up other possibilities.....

IMO the money collected as compulsory donations to the various Park authorities (Hol Chan, Audubon Society, and others) should be ample to insert and manage a proper marker buoy system. They should also be able to update and scale up the old Admiralty charts of this area.

A large amount of money is collected each year by these bodies, and we should press for that money to be used properly and effectively, not frittered away on administration or worse.

#341135 - 06/13/09 07:00 AM Re: Another vessel runs aground;signals need for buoys [Re: SimonB]
samba para ti Offline
Could not agree more! I have a way better chance of winning the Power-Ball Lottery....than finding a REALLY GOOD UP TO DATE Nav. chart(s)!!!.

#341152 - 06/13/09 03:59 PM Re: Another vessel runs aground;signals need for buoys [Re: samba para ti]
Peter Jones Offline
One other thing, on marine radios. When I ran Protech at the Yacht Club dock we listened on channel 16 and gave whatever advice was needed to visiting vessels. As we were right by the main channel we also from time to time used our boats to escort visiting boats in or out. During this time, spanning several years, I don't recall a call on channel 16 being answered by anyone else in San Pedro, and indeed one skipper who is now a regular visitor said that on his first visit he called on 16 repeatedly for more than 40 minutes without any response - until we picked it up. We stopped providing the service when it became impossible for us, and no-one else picked it up.

IMO this is a major safety issue and is a proper Police function, or at any rate one that should be monitored and controlled by the Police - they should be able to expect that a proper marina here would provide that service.

Channel 16 is the standard international frequency for initial communication and the only method of communication for a boat coming here for the first time.

#341176 - 06/13/09 07:15 PM Re: Another vessel runs aground;signals need for buoys [Re: Peter Jones]
samba para ti Offline
Well stated Peter. Another classic example of things gone awry...The 3 stooges could do a better job of monitoring marine communications, than the Police here! I guess that's why....when i bought my fishing boat, the VHF radio was disconnected and stored in a box below deck...next to the diesel engines!...sad but true.

#341182 - 06/13/09 07:53 PM Re: Another vessel runs aground;signals need for buoys [Re: samba para ti]
elbert Offline
were on marine and stand by 16 all the time. I've gone to the police station and checked for myself , yes 3 stooges.
but when the power goes out the cels go down, samba have it ready, It won't be the police that help you out, its other marine radio friends.

The Dive Shops Daily Blog

#341195 - 06/13/09 10:18 PM Re: Another vessel runs aground;signals need for buoys [Re: elbert]
samba para ti Offline
¡Yo escucho a Carlos todo el tiempo..... mi músico del latin favorito! ..... y sí, mi VHF está trabajando muy bien... i debe de haber declarado que el dueño anterior no lo usó, pero i lo reinstaló después de mi compra...... tenga el cuidado


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