Three men, a Belizean, a German, and an American, made a distress call off the coast of Ranguana Caye, after their vessel submerged. The S.O.S. signal was picked up by the International Emergency Response Center in Miami and relayed to the Belize Coast Guard. The information was then passed on to Chief Rigoberto Rivas and his team at the Hunting Caye Observation Post, located sixteen miles from where the incident occurred. After hours of searching, the team of officers successfully rescued the men who were found several miles away from the capsized vessel in an area known as Third Reef. News Five spoke via zoom with Chief Rivas about the successful search and rescue mission.
Chief Rigoberto Rivas, Commanding Officer, Hunting Caye Observation Post
“On the twenty first of May an S.O.S. was declared by OP Center, Belize Coast Guard and information received is that we are to move A.S.A.P. on an SOS mission with coordinated given. Upon arriving at coordinates given about sixteen nautical miles away from Hunting Caye we started the search pattern, what you call the search area where we will be searching. We started with a one mile radius and discovered a semi submerged vessel with no one in the area. Immediately we secured the vessel and I give credit to my team, my team for five coastguard personnel. They were great and very rigorously on the lookout and making sure that nothing gets away from us, because it was already late. The sea state was choppy. After securing the vessel, we extended the search around five nautical miles. We ended finding three civilians in the area what is called the Third Reef. We proceeded to rescue them. While rescuing them they were tired. They were really exhausted. So, we rescued them and immediately after we rescued them we provided emergency care to make sure that everything is good with them. Praise the good lord we found them on time cause night was coming and it could have been worst.”