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#360736 - 12/09/09 09:16 AM Caye Caulker Water Taxi Boat Mishap
Marty Offline

A Caye Caulker Water Taxi bound for Belize City ran into trouble this morning.

Despite numerous attempts, no one from the Caye Caulker Water Taxi Association would speak to us on the record but here is what we understand happened: at about 7:15 “The Carinosa” which left San Pedro at 6:15 was approaching Belize City when it encountered mechanical problems. Unofficial information is that there was an engine failure - specifically the “solenoid tripped” – that’s the switch which starts and stops the engine. According to that report, the captain chose to turn off the engine and docked at the tourism village where passengers were able to walk off the boat.

The scare is that during all this – water started entering the boat- in fact there are some reports that the boat bottomed out. That was probably because when the engine was turned off – so were the boat’s bilge pumps and so water began accumulating inside the boat and the engine wasn’t on to pump it out. The passengers- the majority of them students – arrived safely.

Other reports tell us there was a problem with the cooling system which overwhelmed the bilge pump. When it entered the tourism village terminal at 7:33 am, it was in visible distress with the back of the boat partially submerged. The tourism village used their equipment to pump out a significant quantity of water and by the time we got there at a few minutes to eight the vessel had been more or less righted.

A report was filed with the Belize Port Authority and they are investigating. Again we tried numerous times to get comment from the Caye Caulker Water Taxi Association but they refused.

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#360749 - 12/09/09 10:15 AM Re: Caye Caulker Water Taxi Boat Mishap [Re: Marty]
Verbatim Offline
We've been stranded in the middle of nowhere with the engines conking out as well on one of the water taxis. It was not fun and eventually another boat had to come and rescue us.

How often are these boats checked over and how well maintained are they? It's a good reminder to always put on a life jacket.

#360767 - 12/09/09 11:22 AM Re: Caye Caulker Water Taxi Boat Mishap [Re: Verbatim]
Peter Jones Offline
I was stranded short of Caye Chapel on a ride north once. Made for a very long trip, but our boat was never in any danger of sinking. If this Caye Caulker boat really was taking on water then that's very serious and should be investigated by the Port Authority - they should be able to operate perfectly safely without any bilge pump operating. That said, a boat the size of these water taxis should have at least two bilge pumps, preferably three, and they should be on separate circuits so that if one fails the other can operate. If, and that's a big IF, this report is correct then it certainly should be investigated by the proper authorities.

#360797 - 12/09/09 12:10 PM Re: Caye Caulker Water Taxi Boat Mishap [Re: Peter Jones]
aquamark1 Offline
If It has a inboard engine it sounds like the water seacock hose which cools the engine my have split or came of which would of made the engine overheat and water would have gone into the bilges a but if it had 12 volt bilge pumps they would work without the engine running till the battries run down mark marine engineer england
live life love life live the life you love

#360800 - 12/09/09 12:18 PM Re: Caye Caulker Water Taxi Boat Mishap [Re: Peter Jones]
Verbatim Offline
Good information Peter/Mark.

Edited by Verbatim (12/09/09 12:18 PM)

#360817 - 12/09/09 02:43 PM Re: Caye Caulker Water Taxi Boat Mishap [Re: Verbatim]
Peter Jones Offline
Actually the bigger problem with inboard engines is the stuffing around the prop shaft coming loose. I had a boat like that which very nearly sank when the "seal" that holds the stuffing came apart and fell off - turned out it had been sabotaged and the bolts had all been removed. The boat was saved but the engine was destroyed by the sea water.

But I don't think Caye Caulker operate any water taxis with inboards (I'm open to correction). I believe they all have outboards.

#360830 - 12/09/09 04:12 PM Re: Caye Caulker Water Taxi Boat Mishap [Re: Peter Jones]
aquamark1 Offline
the packing you are talking about is the stern gland packing for the prop shaft deep sea seal if they had outboards the cooling system impelor is in the leg near the prop and would only stop one engine working not two and each engine has its own starter solenoid. there should be no holes in the hull except for depth transduser . the engines charge the battries and should have nothing to do with the bilge pumps sounds like a control panel prob plus impellor or headgaskit on both engines at the same time very unlucky . if the boat hit the bottom it may have ripped the transom and let the water ? i will be on the island in 20 days time if they need any help all the bast marc
live life love life live the life you love

#360837 - 12/09/09 04:29 PM Re: Caye Caulker Water Taxi Boat Mishap [Re: aquamark1]
aquamark1 Offline
p.s sometimes when wiring bilge pumps and float switches they forget to raise and seal the wire connections has high as possible if you don't do that the water coming in will short circuit the pump making it useless i see it on boats all the time common mistake
live life love life live the life you love

#360868 - 12/09/09 07:00 PM Re: Caye Caulker Water Taxi Boat Mishap [Re: aquamark1]
Peter Jones Offline
A common problem here is water getting through the hatches in the transom, or past the cables, or sometimes through holes knocked in the corners of the fibreglass. Lots of ways water can get into the hull below the floor. This is why a boat in public service should be inspected frequently and thoroughly.

#361278 - 12/13/09 10:26 AM Re: Caye Caulker Water Taxi Boat Mishap [Re: Marty]
mrjoes Offline
Given the situation and the way it was handled by the captain, i was hoping to hear a response from the CCWTA. The bottom line is that the passengers walked off the vessel safely, the company could have used this to reassure passengers that their boats are safe and that safety of the passengers is their number one priority. They opted for a "no comment" personally i would have handled it differently......there is another company providing the same service SAY SOMETHING!!!!


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