Authorities in the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment and Hol Chan Marine Reserve are investigating a report involving a vessel that ran aground the reef over the weekend. The San Pedro Sun understands that the incident occurred late on Saturday, May 31st near the Basil Jones Area of Ambergris Caye.
According to the Manager of Hol Chan Marine Reserve Miguel Alamilla, a red and white, 32 foot sailboat, reportedly captained at the time by the general manager of a resort located to the extreme north of the island, was attempting to enter the inner reef through a channel in the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve area when it missed the channel and landed on the reef. Initial information gathered indicates that with the assistance of other vessels in the area the vessel was dragged off the reef that same night. Alamilla went on to explain that while a ranger from Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve responded to the scene, the incident was not reported to the relevant authorities.
The Sun understands that the damage to the immediate area was extensive but Alamilla explained that the authorities are conducting their investigation and are evaluating the damage which will decipher the cost of damage. Alamilla stated that they will also investigate why the ranger failed to report the incident to his superior as is protocol. As for the name of the vessel, authorities say that they know the name and the owner of the vessel and they will be contacting the owner during the course of the investigation.