Cargo Vessel Towed Into Port After Experiencing Mechanical Problems

Arturo Vasquez

Turning to other issues, a cargo vessel en route to Belize has been grounded off the coast of the city since the beginning of the week when it began experiencing mechanical difficulties near the English Caye Pilot Station.† Rio Para, a ship which flies the flag of Antigua and Barbuda, was on its way from Miami carrying freight for Seaboard Marine when it reportedly lost power sometime around eight-thirty on Monday morning.† The captain was forced to anchor in the vicinity of the nearby channel where it remained until two-thirty this afternoon when it was being towed into port by a pair of tugboats.† News Five spoke with Arturo Vasquez, receiver of Ports of Belize Limited.

Arturo Vasquez, Receiver, Port of Belize Ltd.

ďThere is a ship that is, as we speak, itís being brought in, you know, and I understand that on Monday it had a mechanical problem and it was unable to move.† Youíre right, I never heard it on the news anywhere at all but the Port Authority is now aware of it and because we have the service of the pilotage only today, between yesterday and today we had agreed with Seaboard that we need to get this boat in.† The technicality of that is really, because it is not maneuvered by motor we need to get the proper tugs in place and Belize City, even though we have several tugs around, they have to be tugs that are capable of moving a boat because, you will agree, one is pulling and one is pushing and if these tugs are not strong enough they lose control.† That is something that we donít even want to consider.† But it is now in place and we are, as we speak, as I said, it is being brought in and hopefully it can get here before dark.† And, importantly, so that once it gets here we can start offloading and I guess the agent is looking at the mechanical solutions to get it back out.Ē

The local agent for Seaboard Marine is BTALCO Ltd.†

Channel 5