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Belize Port Authority launches investigation into 115-ft long yacht that ran aground in Lighthouse Reef Atoll

Posted: Friday, November 17, 2023. 1:32 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: The Belize Port Authority has launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the drifting of the Belize Aggressor IV, a 115-foot-long yacht, that ran aground in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll.

On November 16, 2023, the vessel drifted onto the reef and was stuck there.

The Belize Coast Guard (BCG) was able to disembark 20 passengers and staff members. 

The Belize Port Authority will travel to the area to assess the damage and launch an investigation. 

Port’s Commissioner, Darlin Gaitan, says that members of the Belize Coast Guard, the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize, and the Department of the Environment will travel to the area to assess the damage. 

Gaitan says that the vessel’s mooring did not hold the position and so it appears to have drifted and this is when it was reported aground.

The investigative team includes members of the Belize Port Authority, the Belize Fisheries Department, the Department of the Environment, and the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize. 

“From the Belize Port Authority we do a safety and also criminal investigation if you will. And so we will determine if there was any for example negligence or want of skill on behalf of the captain that may have led to the incident and those have fines and penalties attached to them as well. And so the investigation is going to look at several things. One, making sense of the incident and how it came about, what are some of the factors that weighed into the incident, and from a safety perspective also to make recommendations so that this type of incident doesn’t happen again and also to assign responsibility where parties may be responsible for the damages that they may have caused,” Gaitan said.


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