On Wednesday, information spread quickly of a boat that capsized in the English Caye Channel, just off the coast of Belize City. Seventeen passengers were onboard the vessel travelling from Rendezvous Caye to English Caye when the boat began taking in water.� The Belize Coast Guard received the distress call around five-twenty and quickly deployed a team to the scene. Fortunately, it was a cruise ship day and a catamaran returning tourists to the ship came up on the sinking vessel.� All seventeen passengers were rescued by the time the Belize Coast Guard personnel arrived.� News Five can confirm that several of the passengers were transported by ambulance to the hospital for treatment. Coast Guard's Operations Officer Melissa Jones shares details.

Lt. Jr. Grade Melissa Jones, Operations Officer, Belize Coast Guard

"We received the call concerning a vessel which capsized and we activated, as protocol, our quick response team. However, upon arrival at the scene, there were seventeen individuals. We did not do per say a rescue, however, we did a recovery and there was a catamaran within the area who assisted them. But we played a role in assisting the captain by retrieving the vessel and towing it to safe harbour. The type of vessel is a lanchon vessel and the reason it capsized - well it did not really capsize; it was taking in water as to the integrity of the hull. The captain revealed to us that he believes that they had hit a rock of some sort and due to the integrity of the hull; it caused the vessel to be taking it water. So it was taking in water for a slow period of time."

Channel 5