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#496009 - 09/24/14 10:54 AM San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi runs into reef
Marty Offline

The San Pedro Sun can confirm that a passenger boat belonging to San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi ran aground early Tuesday morning September 23rd. The accident happened around 6:20 AM on the reef between Caye Caulker Village and Ambergris Caye while the vessel was making its first trip of the day to the city. Luckily no one was hurt, but for the 50 plus passengers, the incident was frightening.

The accident happened during heavy rain and according to two residents, who went to rescue their family members who were on the boat at the time of the incident, the water taxi vessel ran into the main reef near Shark Ray Alley and within the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. One of the family members told The Sun that her son called her, frantically saying that the boat had slammed into the reef.

According to officials at the Belize Port Authority, the matter was not reported to authorities. They confirmed that the boat captain and his assistant have been summoned to give statements. Miguel Alamilla, Manager of Hol Chan Marine Reserve, said that the water taxi operator removed the vessel before anyone in authority arrived on the scene. He indicated that by removing the vessel, the company has violated the law [further]. Alamilla also said that whenever a vessel is involved in an accident, the captain must report the incident to the relevant authorities and wait for clearance to remove the vessel.

The company has indicated to authorities that the grounding occurred in the Coral Garden area, contrary to what residents reported. Nonetheless, the Belize Port Authority indicated that they are conducting a joint investigation along with the Department of the Environment. The San Pedro Sun tried getting comments from the San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi Limited, but no one has responded to our requests.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see photos in the San Pedro Sun


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#496010 - 09/24/14 11:02 AM Re: San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi runs into reef [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

San Pedro Water Taxi Crashes Into Reef

Dozens of lives were put in danger this morning when a San Pedro Belize Express water taxi crashed into the reef outside San Pedro Town. The boat is named Caye'z Stars and it ran aground on of the reef area known as Coral Gardens - which is a popular snorkeling spot between Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye. It happened at 6:20 am - on the first run from San Pedro to Belize City.

Passengers called the Belize Port Authority hotline and the Coast Guard but the Coast Guard told us that the management of the San Pedro Belize Express declined assistance because they had it under control. They took two vessels to transfer the passengers - but those passengers said it took about half an hour to get that done - a tense 30 minutes as the boat's structural integrity had been compromised on the reef - which was also damaged.

So was it the weather or navigational problems? We did hear form passengers that the compass on the boat wasn't working right - but we could not confirm this because the company didn't want to comment.

7News was at the Belize City terminal when the replacement vessel came in at 8:00 am and Courtney Weatherburne spoke to 2 of the traumatized passengers this morning. Here's how they explained it.

Jordana Segura, Student - St. Catherine's Academy
"Well it was something that happened very sudden. We were just going by very smoothly and apparently the boat captain didn't really had a very good position where he was going and crashed into the corals. It stunned everybody, we got scared and I am still a little shaken up about it. It was a very scary thing to have witness. Every on the boat start panicking and started grabbing life jackets and I didn't know whether I was supposed to panic too or what I was supposed to do because I've never been in a situation like that. All I was thinking was to grab a life jacket and that I need to call my mom, I need to find out what's going on, is everything going to be okay and most importantly I was thinking about am I going to be late for school? Am I going to get in trouble for this? They just kept pushing us to the front and pushing us to the back and I didn't really like what was going on because I think they should have at least waited for the boat to come before they start working on the boat because everybody was pretty scared because they were pulling on the boat, pushing on the boat and people were on it and I didn't really agree with that."

Vladimir Villas, St. Andrews School
"The boat was rocking back and forth because we crash into the reef because of the weather. They didn't know where the rock was and they didn't have the navigational stuff. People were scared, but I wasn't so scared because I knew I could swim."

There were about 50 passengers on the boat. The Port Authority which is in charge of investigating such accidents had no comment today.

Channel 7


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#496039 - 09/25/14 02:23 AM Re: San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi runs into reef [Re: Marty]
witness Offline
If this was a North American who "grazed" the reef with his sailboat, there would be the usual hoard of "Officials" levying multi-million dollar fines on this egregious offense.
Since it's someone who's already bought his way into the politician's hearts, it not so surprisingly gets no comments.

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#496052 - 09/25/14 11:02 AM Re: San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi runs into reef [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

DOE Says Water Taxi Did Not Hit Reef

Yesterday we told you about the San Pedro Water Taxi boat accident near an area called Coral Gardens. Well, we spoke to Kein Marin from the San Pedro Water Taxi today and he confirmed that it was a combination of inclement weather conditions and navigational issues that caused the crash. Apparently, the GPS failed and the boat captain had low visibility as result of the rain. It was also reported by the Department of Environment that the boat crashed into a rock, and not the Coral Gardens Reef area. They say the rock was miles away from the reef and the reef was not damaged. The company says it has taken drastic measures to ensure the safety of the passengers.

Channel 7


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#496067 - 09/25/14 12:50 PM Re: San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi runs into reef [Re: Marty]
Nobody You Know Offline
The GPS failed...in 2010...

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#496078 - 09/25/14 04:13 PM Re: San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi runs into reef [Re: Marty]
Phil Offline
We have rocks that big in that area?

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#496080 - 09/25/14 05:35 PM Re: San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi runs into reef [Re: Marty]
witness Offline
How did a "Rock" get to "Coral Gardens"?
Meteorite, Gotta be!

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#496091 - 09/25/14 11:22 PM Re: San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi runs into reef [Re: Marty]
ScubaLdy Offline
You know those crazy rocks just roll all around and even jump up now and then.
_________________________
Harriette
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

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#496092 - 09/26/14 12:27 AM Re: San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi runs into reef [Re: ScubaLdy]
AJ Baxter Offline
Unless the 'rock' rafted out on a passing iceberg, or was dumped by a passing ship, it was not a 'rock'. The most likely explanation is that the water taxi hit a dead or living patch reef build-up. Or a sunken ufo?


Edited by AJ Baxter (09/26/14 12:29 AM)
_________________________
Allan AJ Baxter
---> Link to my Photography Gallery

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#496094 - 09/26/14 03:08 AM Re: San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi runs into reef [Re: ScubaLdy]
Short Offline
ScubaLdy, you'll be happy to hear that I just sent out an email to the SPTB, suggesting that all wild rocks out there should be leashed from now on.
Just trying to be part of the solution!

Originally Posted By: ScubaLdy
You know those crazy rocks just roll all around and even jump up now and then.
_________________________
Live and let live

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