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Luxury Yacht Damages Reef

Posted By: mobunny

Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/09/05 04:06 PM

This article made me crazy...

Summerwind Belize’s Department of Environment (DOE), the San Pedro Tour Guide Association, Fisheries Department, the Belize Tourist Board, and other concerned agencies will be seeking court action against the person(s) responsible for the reef damage caused by a luxury yacht in front of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. This is what environmental officer Albert Roches of DOE told Ambergris Today early this Monday morning when our newspaper contacted his office in regards to the negligent actions of the motor yacht “SUMMERWIND”.

In a letter written by the San Pedro Tour Guide Association to the DOE on March 28, 2005, SPTGA President Phillip Leslie states his concern over the reef damaged perpetuated by the yacht Summerwind. The letter states that on Tuesday, March 29, Summerwind moved from its safe anchor harbor in front of San Pedro Town to a site on the outer side of the reef where most of the local scuba diving takes place, directly in front of Ramon’s Village. The yacht released a very large anchor secured to approximately 200 feet of chain down to about 70 feet deep. The anchor ripped off a large section of coral, and the chain then started to break off big sections of hard coral, soft coral and sponges as it moved from side to side, swayed by underwater currents.

At about 9:00 a.m. last Tuesday, the San Pedro Police, Hol Chan Marine Reserve staff, and the Belize Fisheries were notified by the SPTGA to the careless situation and at 10 a.m., the police escorted an individual off the vessel. The person was brought to the police station in San Pedro and told to visit the Hol Chan Marine Reserve office to see the fisheries officers. For some reason or the other, the person failed to comply with the police directive and went back to his vessel. The boat remained anchored all day and night on the fragile reef, continuing its damage of the reef, without the owner or captain taking any corrective measures under consideration, despite the concerned efforts of the police and SPTGA. It was not until Wednesday morning, March 30 that the motor yacht dragged its anchor off the reef and returned to safe harbor.


Later on the week, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve staff escorted one of the crew members of Summerwind to their office where he was questioned about the vessel’s actions. Then, the SPTGA, with the assistance of local tour guides from Reef Adventures, Amigos del Mar, and a concerned American tourist, ventured to the reef site and witnessed major sections of coral reef damage caused by the Summerwind. The damaged area measured 200 feet north to south and 250 feet east to west, where most of the hard corals, soft corals and sponges were removed by Summerwind’s anchor and chain.

“The San Pedro Tour Guide Association would like to see that this individual be taken to court and prosecuted for this tremendous damage,” stated SPTGA President Phillip Leslie in the letter to DOE. “The SPTGA is demanding that all authorities take the proper actions against such careless destruction and fines be set high.”

According to DOE’s Albert Roches, a meeting was held last Friday to address the reef damage issue which occurred in front of the island. Another meeting was held this Monday, and from information obtained from Mr. Roches, all indications are that court actions will be initiated against those persons responsible for the reef damage caused by the Summerwind.

- By E. Brown Ambergris Today, Week of April 7, 2005, Volume 7, #14
Posted By: klcman

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/09/05 04:22 PM

I saw this vessel move outaside the reef, after havign been achored inside for approximately a week and wondered what the hell was going on. No one seemed know. It looked like an accident waiting to happen. And now 1.15 acres fo beauteous sealife is destroyed? Sell the yacht for damages!

Why did they re-position outside anyway?
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/09/05 05:01 PM

Apparently they moved due to low tide conditions, they were banging bottom. Unless you're in the middle of the cut it's a max of about 9' inside the reef where they were located and usually closer to 7'.
Posted By: cindyb

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/09/05 05:27 PM

I got the "sick to my stomach" feeling when I read the article.

I say impound the yacht, impose a fine compensatory to the damages...don't know how you would come up with that figure, takes the reef years to regenerate.

These folks need to take responsibility for their actions.

I'm really getting militant in my old age!
Posted By: dbdoberman

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/09/05 06:06 PM

it was irresponsible, no matter their reason. If they couldn't find safe harbor because of water depth, they should have sailed on out and kept on going. I hope they pay up, not that it would replace what was damaged, but it does send a message.
Posted By: klcman

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/09/05 06:15 PM

perhaps they had no crew??

//ambergriscaye.com/message/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=5;t=000156
Posted By: dbdoberman

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/09/05 06:31 PM

I still have no feelings of sympathy for them, if they would have asked any one from the island, I am sure they would have been warned against anchoring there.
Posted By: PattiCake

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/09/05 06:31 PM

If they had no crew, they don't belong there. It's very irresponsible to own something of that scale and not have it manned.
Posted By: PattiCake

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/09/05 06:38 PM

Waiting for Capt Jeff to rule on this one....

The old saying applies here... more $ than brains, yet who must pay ecologically?
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/09/05 07:08 PM

Umm, the crew they were looking for was a deckhand and stewardess, nothing to do with ship's operations. The captain is the one to blame (and should be thrown in jail for a few years.) It looks like they ran for it as soon as the heat came down and before the boat could be impounded (complete conjecture of course.)
Posted By: MajG

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/09/05 07:22 PM

the only answer: confiscate the boat and sink it in the area of the reef damage and use as a dive site/destination!
Posted By: klcman

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/09/05 08:05 PM

a local dive operator told me the boat was owned by an "absentee" resort owner - but I wonder
Posted By: Hon

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/09/05 08:14 PM

mad mad mad

This pisses me off! No excuse is good enough. These idiots should be hauled naked over the broken reef and left to fester in the sun until they blister. Maybe then they would have a little respect for the environment.

Hon aka The Sea Hugger
Posted By: Barbara K

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/09/05 10:07 PM

eek eek mad mad frown frown
Posted By: PattiCake

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/09/05 10:09 PM

Keel - hauled, Hon. Tradition, tradition..
Posted By: klcman

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/10/05 07:40 AM

for those of you who have not seen this vessel....

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/8955696/
Posted By: seashell

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/10/05 12:12 PM

I'm choked. I suggested that good friend of mine look into the positions that they had available.

It won't matter though, cuz as soon as I tell what happened, there will be no further pursuit of employment.
Posted By: Grace

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/10/05 02:28 PM

Wow, that's a big boat! Too big to be inside the reef in my opinion......
Posted By: Barbara K

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/10/05 06:17 PM

Wow - big is right! Hey klcman - like the graffiti beam shots! I know where they are!!! wink
Posted By: Pedro1

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/12/05 02:28 AM

Unbelievable

we have cruise ships destroying the reef -with their passengers and overloaded day trip boats which cause more damage than is possible to imagine.
the captain of the "summerwind" went to ask the authorities what to do and was told to park outside the reef (the ship was bottoming out)-under advice he moored outside the reef and indeed caused damage to the reef-he was told a fine would be levied (approx 25Kusd)-no problem and then nothing more was said about the incident-apparently on these incidents a boat and her captain has to be charged within 48 hours -this naturally did not happen.
Now people are screaming that the boat should be charged 500.000usd,and that it left illegally -it,of course did not-
we have had many vessels hit, get stuck on the reef and no-one got charged -accidents happen-and the owners were prepared to pay a fair amount of money-yet no-one in authority managed to follow the laws which would have allowed 25k or more to be collected-
it is also interesting "the mob mentality" that people who have not even been here and those that have will only listen to one side of what actually happened.
worse yet is it just jealousy
Posted By: SP Daily

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/12/05 02:41 AM

Oh My God!!! I'm in complete agreement with Pedro1.
Help!!!
Posted By: NYgal

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/12/05 02:56 AM

Whack.....did that fix ya up Jesse smile
Posted By: klcman

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/12/05 02:58 AM

thanks for your observations Pedro1....truly a sad commentary on politics.

Pedro - who in particular is clamoring for those fees opf $500k US?

(edited by spell cops)
Posted By: dbdoberman

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/12/05 03:15 AM

Pedro and Jesse, do you have opinions on those things that happen worldwide, perhaps in Iraq, China, etc.? Have you been there recently to know first hand what is actually happening, or do you form those opinions based on the news media? Most of us read the article posted, and it indicted that the ship acted irresponsibly, or did I misread the article? We reacted to it. You could have posted the flip side without insulting us. Well, maybe not, you are Pedro. I do not think people get insulted if they are reacting to misinformation, and then are corrected. Just post the true account, so that we can rethink our positions.

I wish fines would be levied against any ship causing damage to the reef, and just because the authorities are lax in doing so, does not make it any less irresponsible on the part of the ship owner. It just means they are lucky, and do not have to pay.

Of course I'm jealous Pedro, I'm here, you're there! laugh
Posted By: klcman

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/12/05 03:30 AM

spoken like a true gentleman & scholar
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/12/05 05:40 PM

According to the SPTGA President....

Actually the boat went to Belize City to deal with the Port Authority and for exit procedures.

As to SP, the local authorities were not consulted. There are no mooring facilities on the other side of the reef.

In Belize City the captain was instructed to leave the boat. Port Authority personnel were to stay aboard until the situation was assessed.


....or more or less according to the President of the San Pedro Tour Guide Association.


Regardless of what cruise ships are doing to Belize, damaging a 1.5 acre piece of the mbrs is a tough one.

Of lesser importance, the owner of Summerwind should really consider the credentials of this captain.

SIN
Posted By: Catatonic Motivator

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/12/05 07:09 PM

Sounds about right for SP.

Story number one?

Number two?

Anybody for three?

BTW, this is a message board. Anyone can write anything they want and toss it up here.

I'm not saying one of the three accounts isn't right, I'm just not sure which one...or, for that matter, a blend of the three.

Hell, I've got a picture of a well-respected local fishing guide's anchor set hard into a coral head. Not everyone, even locals, respects the natural sea life and structures off AC. Sad, but true.

Now, where'd I put my recipe for manatee stew... eek
Posted By: klcman

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/12/05 11:32 PM

Taste like chicken?
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/13/05 12:12 AM

No, not really, a little more like Bottled Nose Dolphin.
Posted By: klcman

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/13/05 12:59 AM

ewwwwwww frown
Posted By: Pedro1

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/13/05 04:16 PM

Manatee is just OK. More like old chicken. Dolphin is a little sour. You can't beat Turtle Soup and you end up with a great souvenier shell for the wall.
Posted By: papashine

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/13/05 04:27 PM

Tastes like a cross between Bald Eagle and Whooping Crane...
Posted By: klcman

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/13/05 07:08 PM

but would the shell be confiscated at Customs?
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/13/05 10:25 PM

ask Seashell
Posted By: Pedro1

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/13/05 10:49 PM

she knows everything that happens- before and after
Posted By: Chloe

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/14/05 12:04 AM

during too
Posted By: klcman

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/14/05 12:06 AM

laugh
Posted By: seashell

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/14/05 02:23 AM

I've never been confiscated, before, after or during.
Posted By: NYgal

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/14/05 02:51 AM

Wanna be smile
Posted By: seashell

Re: Luxury Yacht Damages Reef - 04/14/05 03:02 AM

LOL
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