American Vessel Grounds on Belize Barrier Reef
A U.S. registered vessel was grounded on the barrier reef in the area of Hatchet Caye located east-northeast of Placencia over the weekend. Eight persons were onboard the civilian vessel: three Colombians, four Guatemalans and an American national. Guatemalan authorities have confirmed that the vessel left the Port of Livingston heading to Big Creek in southern Belize on Friday morning and crashed on to the reef on Saturday. The Belize National Coast Guard secured the area along with a team involving the Department of Environment, the Fisheries Department, Immigration and the Belize Port Authority. The Coastguard explains.
Lt. Jr. Gr. Charles Francisco, Ops. Mgr., Belize Coast Guard
“We were first informed of the situation on Saturday evening about the grounding of this vessel. There was a press release regarding the vessel today stating that it was a civilian vessel, a civilian yacht containing two Colombians and six Guatemalans onboard the vessel. And the incident happened about five hundred meters east north east of Hatchet Caye and that’s the report that we have right now. There is a task force that is currently conducting assessments as it relates to damage to the reef and damage to the vessel and whatnot. As soon as we receive reports from that give it to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they will forward a press release. The vessel is still on the reef, from our last report; the vessel is still on the reef so that’s the Immigration is involved, Port Authority is involved as well as the Department of the Environment that is currently conducting the assessment today. However, we are still awaiting reports of that assessment. They were in no distress per say. The vessel is high above water so they were taken off the vessel and taken care of by fisheries officers and coastguard members stationed at Middle Water Caye.”