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And we take a break from crime and politics news to tell you about a useful new acquisition by the Belize Port Authority. It’s a vessel which will make for safer travel by ships in and out of Belize’s shipping lanes. 7News made a special trip up to Old Belize where the Port Authority had the new tool on display.

Jacqueline Godwin Reporting,
You are looking at the MV Sea King. But this is no ordinary boat it is a hydro-graphic vessel that has all the capabilities onboard to scan the sea floor and relay on screen the information recorded as shown in this demonstration from where the boat is presently anchored in the marina at old Belize.

“All that you are seeing is mud, this is all mud. But as we go out and we find rocks and anything it will show on the screen.”

Previously all such activity was conducted in Belize by the Royal and the US Navy. The last survey was conducted in 2000. Hydro-graphic surveying is critical to safe navigation of vessels in and out of our territorial waters.

Major John Flowers, Deputy Post Commander – BPA
“Well there have always been reports of shallow depth, vessels touching the bottom of the sea, they are grounding and buoys not in proper position. We’ve had problems where vessels go into the reef because they have not had enough information as to where the entrance is and so the initiative came about because of all those issues.”

The Belize crew who are all members of the BPA have received training in hydrography. The team will be led by Michael Jenkins, a category B hydrographer who has been trained in maritime activity and disaster prevention. Theirs is a huge undertaking: surveying the entire length of Belize’s coastline and waters.

Michael Jenkins, Lead Hydrographer – BPA
“The equipments on the vessel have a limit of 300 meters. So we can survey depths up to 300 meters. We have a side scan sonar which gives you a pretty good view of the sea floor that can detect sunken vessels, obstructions, that can cause wreck to a ship when navigating in the water.”

The vessel is scheduled to go into operation next week where it will be able to be seen in the Belize harbour.

Michael Jenkins,
“Our first objective is to do our harbour and our approaches to the main pier to make sure there are no obstructions in the water and that the cruise ships and the cargo vessels coming in are safe as they enter into our waters.

We are signed onto SOLAS Convention which Safety of Life at Sea and under this convention the country is obligated to do surveys on a regular basis to provide accurate and updated information to the marine public. As a benefit to the country, we have benefits like national security whereby we will chart our waters and for example the Coast Guard will have that information so that they can better take care of their own vessels and not hitting rocks and anything like that. Economically it will also benefit the country because we will be charting new areas and so the fishermen will have that information as to new fishing grounds so they can have new areas to catch their product.”

The overall investment is a total of US$178,065.55. The vessel can also be hired for private jobs as would be the case if a plane went down in the sea and had to be located undersea.

Channel 7

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Sunken Spanish galleons avec treasure anyone?


Reality..What a concept!
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Or new diveable wrecks?

Joined: Jul 2000
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Besides the mapping I think that they are going to find a lot of things worthwhile.



Reality..What a concept!
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Watch the crew become wealthy men...


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