This morning news spread like wild fire, a Guatemalan vessel ran aground near Glovers Reef. Comments on the social media grew by the minute and before midday authorities were in the area assessing the level of damages caused to Belize’s Barrier Reef. Reports are that around one thirty this morning the Guatemalan Naval vessel with markings GC 651 got stuck on the reef in the vicinity of Glovers Reef off Middle Caye. CEO of National Security, Retired Colonel George Lovell spoke with the media on the matter.
Rt’d Colonel George Lovell
“At about 1:30 this morning, the coastguard were informed that there was a vessel on our reef off Glovers Reef in the vicinity of Middle Caye. Immediately our coast guard officials sent out patrols into the area to confirm the reports of this grounded vessel which was confirmed that there is a vessel, a Guatemalan coast guard vessel with markings GC651 on that vessel. We also, when we went on the ground, observed that there was a second vessel that was in close proximity to where this vessel went aground and we were then concerned, we got in touch with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who in turn got in touch with our Guatemalan counterparts and they informed us that the vessels were destined to go to La Isla Mujeres in Mexico. Our coast guard that were on the ground had an opportunity to speak to the crew of the Guatemalan coastguard vessel and they confirmed that yes they were heading to Mexico. They claim that they had lost steering and that they drifted onto the reef.”
“Is there a reason why they were passing through our littoral waters, as opposed to international seas?”
Ret. Col. George Lovell
“My understanding, according to them, is that they were within the international waters, there’s a twelve mile limit and they were in the international waters when they experienced difficulties and they drifted into our reef.”
Lovell says a claim will be lodged with the Guatemalan government if authorities conclude that there were damages to the reef. Belizean authorities will be investigating the incident further.
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