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Mexican Navy Rescues Water Jet Passengers Who Departed from San Pedro headed to Chetumal

According to Chetumal Siempre Noticias, at least 60 people were rescued by personnel from the Mexican Navy on board the Water Jets water taxi service after the boat that runs a Chetumal-San Pedro, Belize schedule capsized in the waters of the Bay of Chetumal. More information to follow as it becomes available. (Pictures Courtesy Chetumal Siempre Noticias)

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An UPDATE on the water taxi passengers stranded at sea in the Bay of Chetumal indicates that none of the 69 passengers and 3 crew members were injured. The boat captain explained to Mexican News Media TV Azteca that water started to enter the vessel due to rough sea condition and they experienced engine failure. The captain managed to anchor the vessel and called for assistance. The Mexican Navy rescued the passengers by towing the water taxi to the Mexican Port. Water Jets International services scheduled water taxi trips between San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize and the City of Chetumal, Mexico.

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Belizean Water Taxi Stranded In Mexican Waters

Earlier in the news, we showed you how the non-stop rain, caused by a passing tropical wave, caused flooding in different parts of Central and Northern Belize, damaging crucial public infrastructure.

The bad weather also caused another mishap in the Bay of Chetumal, 1 mile away from Chetumal. That's where a water taxi belonging to the Water Jets International water taxi ended up stranded with 60 passengers on board.

The boat's crew then secured the vessel and requested the help of the Mexican Navy to escort them and their passengers safely into the harbor at Chetumal. This morning, we got a chance to speak with the Belize Coast Guard's operations officer. He shared a few details with us about the report they received from the Coast Guard's counterparts in Mexico about the successful search and rescue mission:

Lieutenant Kenrick Thomas - Operations Officer, Belize Coast Guard
"Last night, our Operations Center received information from the Mexican Navy of a distress call within their sea spaces. It was reported to us that their response lead to a successful search and rescue operation. The information shared with us was that sometime after seven last night, the Mexicans reported the captain of the vessel, Water Jets International, arrived at the pier in Chetumal and reported that on his voyage from San Pedro to Chetumal, his vessel experienced mechanical problems, which forced him to anchor one nautical mile off the coast of Chetumal. He informed the Mexican authorities that onboard the vessel were 67 persons, inclusive of passengers and crew, and they are requesting assistance to be brought into Mainland Chetumal. As part of their standard operating practice, the Mexican went into operation and reported to us that they were successful in doing so. They had in place ambulances and medics ready to provide assistance to the passengers and crew. However, they reported to us that all persons were accounted for, reportedly in good health, and needed no such assistance. At this time, the only information we received [is] that the vessel experienced mechanical problems, whited forced them to anchor the vessel. So, that means that the vessel then became dead in the water, and they couldn't continue with their voyage through to Chetumal. In the case of this, we're talking about just one nautical mile off the coast of Chetumal. We know that the conditions were not favorable. However, a large platform as such would not have experienced many difficulties with the sea state and the sea conditions."

Last night, TV Azteca Quintana Roo, was at the Chetumal's seafront, and they got a chance to speak with the boat's captain. With English translations, here's a snippet of what he told them about their mechanical difficulties while at sea:

Adolpho Acevedo - Boat Captain
"The situation occurred because of inclement weather, the rain, the trip. They had a little bit of water in the vent for the gas tank. And that was the cause of the mechanical failure of the engine, which made it shut down. So, we proceeded to anchor, but we were already close to Chetumal, like 3 minutes away."

The boat captain told the Mexican news reporter that his passengers were distressed by the ordeal, but the Mexican authorities were able to calm them down and get them safely to land last night.

Channel 7

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