The “Oliver,” the Port of Belize Limited’s first-ever pilot launch boat, was christened this afternoon at its compound in Belize City. C.E.O. of the Port, Arturo Vasquez, shares details of how the nation’s leading port will make use of the boat.
Arturo Vasquez, C.E.O., Port of Belize Limited
“If I recall there is two boats that use to be what you refer to as a pilot launch and there is one behind you that we still use. But really what you are on now is really an official and a properly designed and made pilot launch. Some of the difficulties we had in the past is when we had rough seas and rough weather; not even that boat behind you can make it to these cargo ships. With this boat form the experts this will take you anywhere, anytime, in any kind of weather. Thirty knots is something that is pretty fast for something this size and we have a spin for you to feel what it is like. To shoe the importance of what the port considers the duty of the pilot and the work we do in bringing in these ships; there is an investment here of about three million dollars. It is a significant investment but when you thing about the duty and what also the cruise industry as a whole which is growing and the cargo vessels exports imports, the importance of all of that is so that we are able to responsibly do our jobs. This will allow them to be our in bad and good weather; they are able to board the ship as they should safely. This is our most recent investment and we have invested close to thirteen million dollars since receivership. We were lucky we came across this boat, it was designed by the US marines, there were eleven, the US took ten and we bought one. It is designed and fully equipped; there is two huge diesel engines below. For us it is an important part of the operation of the port and that is why I think it is important.”
The Port also recognized four additional pilots who formally received their license and identification pins this afternoon. The boat carries the first name of a deceased and revered Chief Master Pilot whose wife and children were invited to mark the occasion.
Port of Belize Invests In Megabucks Vessel For Marine Pilots
The Port of Belize Limited may be in receivership - but the Ashcroft Affiliated Management has pumped millions of dollars into Port infrastructure. Three million more has been invested into a highly specialized vessel called "Oliver 108." The 54 foot vessel is for the Port's Marine Pilots, who have to go out at the height of the night to pilot in the big ships coming in to the Port of Belize. Today we found out why the Port is making such a big investment:..
The vessel comes from Chesapeake Virginia and is powered by two large Cummins Diesel engines.
Last week we told you about the new three million dollar vessels that the Port of Belize's Marine Pilots would be using to go out on their late night runs. Now, this kind of vessel is even more expensive than what the Coast Guard uses - and if you're wondering why they need something so specialized - then you'd have to be up before the birds to see the quite remarkable job that these men do. And what's even more remarkable is the completely understated way they carry out this very specialized task. In 2009 we went with them on one of those late night missions; Jules Vasquez reports:...
At the time there were only a handful of marine pilots; but since then four more have been trained, and on Friday they were given their licenses.