No Worries quickly responds to their capsized boat
Tuesday, June 27th, 2017
On Thursday, June 22nd, a ‘No Worries Tours’ boat capsized outside of the reef near Mexico Rocks Marine Reserve. Fortunately, the three divers were underwater when the incident took place around 10:20AM. Due to the swift response, no one was injured.
In their report to the Belize Port Authority (BPA), No Worries indicated that one of the star-board engines on the vessel had failed, causing the boat to flip over. “We made sure that our patrons were rescued, and after doing so, we went to retrieve the boat. We then made a full statement at the Belize Port Authority. The tourists were not on the vessel when the incident occurred, as they were diving,” said a representative of No Worries.
According to a source who spoke with the unfortunate boat passengers, the captain and first mate were rescued first. They then sent someone to pick them [the passengers] up when they surfaced from underwater. While waiting for the rescue team, the tourists hung on to a mooring buoy until the boat arrived, and were taken back to their resort. While they sustained no injuries, the tourists lost all of their personal items and valuables that were on the capsized boat. The tourists reported that were very appreciative of the quick response from the dive shop.
During the week of the incident, Ambergris Caye, along with the rest of the country, were experiencing heavy rains due to surrounding tropical depressions and storms. The BPA advises boat operators to be more cautious about weather conditions, particularly when there are craft warnings issued. Although ‘No Worries Tours’ stated that there was not a craft warning issued for that day, The San Pedro Sun confirmed that the National Meteorological Service issued an advisory for a small craft warning for Thursday, June 22nd.
According to BPA personnel, it is crucial that all boat operators ensure safe boating operations to avoid lawsuits or loss of life. “It is important for them to adhere to these guidelines because of the many consequences. It is not safe to conduct tours when the sea is choppy or winds are powerful. If it is a technical problem, it is the responsibility of the boat operator to inspect the functionality of their vessels to ensure everything is properly working before conducting tours. There are many cases where accidents can be prevented. Every morning and evening, the National Meteorological Service provides the public with weather information, so there is no excuse.”
The BPA strongly discourages tour operators from carrying out business when the sea and/or winds are rough. It is highly recommended for all tour operators to keep track of the tides, and wind gusts through the National Meteorological Service of Belize at www.hydromet.gov.bz
As of press time, the BPA continues to investigate the incident to determine whether criminal charges will be laid against No Worries Tours. The San Pedro Sun will have more information on this accident as it becomes available.
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