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Oil spill off the coast of Caye Chapel #542891
06/11/20 05:14 AM
06/11/20 05:14 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,133
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Since yesterday personnel from the Department of the Environment have been monitoring the possibility of an oil spill off the coast of Caye Chapel after a barge with heavy equipment onboard reportedly sunk. The Reporter was told that the barge was transporting a dump truck, an excavator, and other equipment when it went underwater early on Tuesday morning. A check with the Department of the Environment today revealed that they were informed of the incident just after midday yesterday and since then have deployed a team to ensure that the heavy equipments including the sunken barge are removed as quickly as possible from out of the water. Since yesterday a salvage barge has been attempting to do so but the process has been tedious and will take up to three days to complete. The DOE however will be out on the scene for the next couple of days to ensure that all procedures and recommendations are being followed.

The Reporter

Re: Oil spill off the coast of Caye Chapel [Re: Marty] #542920
06/12/20 04:28 AM
06/12/20 04:28 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,133
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Barge Sinks at Sea!

A barge carrying heavy equipment sank somewhere between Caye Chapel and Caye Caulker early Tuesday morning. The tug boat – called ‘Pulla’ – that departed Belize City for Caye Caulker belongs to Damien Chamberlain and was captained by Alex Underwood. The Belize Port Authority says that the equipment has been recovered from the scene, but the vessel must stay underwater until an investigation is complete. We are told that the Department of Environment was aware of the matter the day the incident happened and have been investigating it. Today, a team from the Belize Port Authority, accompanied by personnel from the D.O.E., went out to the site. When we spoke with Port Authority’s Commissioner, Merlene Bailey-Martinez, she says at this time they can’t say what caused the barge to go under.

On the Phone: Merlene Bailey-Martinez, Commissioner, Belize Port Authority

“What we do know is that this tug name Pulla was pulling a barge to Caye Caulker and en route to Caye Caulker, the barge sank with a truck and excavator and some steel beams. To date, the truck and excavator have been recovered. The barge is still under water. They are prohibited from moving the barge until we have done our preliminary site inspection.  From the preliminary report that we got, we still have not yet spoken to the captain. But from the preliminary report from Mr. Chamberlain, it was captained at the time by Mr. Alex Underwood. We have issued a request for the captain to come in and for the owner to come in to give a statement as to what exactly transpired even as we are conducting our site visits; as our inspectors are conducting our site visits. That is as far as we have it at this time.”

Andrea Polanco

“So, at this time you don’t have any preliminary information that may suggest why the barge sank?”

On the Phone: Merlene Bailey Martinez

“No. That is a part of our information gathering. Normally collect all the information; conduct the site visit and then make that determination.”

Channel 5

Re: Oil spill off the coast of Caye Chapel [Re: Marty] #543026
06/18/20 05:16 AM
06/18/20 05:16 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,133
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Barge Remains Submerged near Caye Caulker

Last week we told you about a tugboat called “Pulla” whose barge sank somewhere between Caye Caulker and Caye Chapel. That barge, which departed Belize City last Tuesday morning en route to Caye Caulker, was carrying heavy several pieces of heavy equipment. Those pieces of equipment were retrieved from the water. The barge, however, remains submerged at the site, as efforts continue to be made to remove it from the water. The Belize Port Authority and the Department of Environment were out at the site investigating what happened last week. What we know so far is that the D.O.E.’s investigation shows that the site of the incident is a sandy area, which is about fifteen feet deep, and so there wasn’t any damage caused by the vessel and the heavy equipment. The “Pulla” belongs to Damien Chamberlain and was captained by Alex Underwood at the time of the incident.

Channel 5

Re: Oil spill off the coast of Caye Chapel [Re: Marty] #543162
06/25/20 04:46 AM
06/25/20 04:46 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,133
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

"Barge Turn Ovah"

The press also asked the Port Commissioner about a barge which sunk while it was on the way to Caye Caulker.

On June 9th, it was being tugged by a vessel named "Pulla". The barge was carrying a truck, an excavator, and steel beams, which have all be recovered from the sea.

But the barge is still submerged. So today, we asked the Commissioner about their investigation into the vessel's mishap:

Merlene Bailey-Martinez - Ports Commissioner, Belize Port Authority
"We know that they have retrieved the excavator and some other equipment that was on the barge. But, the barge has not yet been retrieved. So, it's still lying with the bottom. We've had discussions with the owner, Mr. Chamberlain, and he's working on getting the barge floated, and taken to Caye Caulker. So, that's about the latest update. We are continuing with our investigation. Our initial investigation, we have had divers going down there, taking pictures of the sunken barge. And the pictures are showing some issues with the barge, which we have to further investigate, once it is dry-docked once it is afloat."

"So, there is nothing definitively to say as yet, what may have caused the barge to be sunk?"

Merlene Bailey-Martinez
"Well, the photos do show that there were some breaches in the hull of the barge. The photos show that. The extent of it - but this is underwater but is very clearly seen, and we believe that's what caused the ingress of water. Once the barge is retrieved, then we'll be able to do a more thorough investigation."

We understand that at the time of the incident, the vessel was reportedly being captained by a Belize City resident.

Channel 7

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