Residents first took sight of this large vessel about a mile outside our barrier reef on Friday, June 25, and speculations quickly arose of its intentions in the vicinity of Ambergris Caye. With all the hoopla about the potential offshore oil exploration and drilling in Belize, residents could not resist to speculate on the possibility of it being an exploratory vessel looking for possible oil exploration sites in front of our island.

Ambergris Today did some digging around the internet and found out that it’s the English vessel SD NEWTON that arrived from the Gulf of Mexico on its way to Panama. The vessel was built 1976 as a cable layer but has been used by the Minstry of Defence for testing and research and is also listed as part of the Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service Fleet. What was it doing in front of Ambergris Caye? It’s anyone’s guess. But it was gone by the time Tropical Storm Alex came around!