BELIZE CITY, Sun. Nov. 29, 2020– We had initially reported that a Coast Guard vessel carrying five security personnel had capsized, leaving the 2 police officers, 2 Coast Guard officers and a scenes-of-crime technician out in the open sea.
Additional details into the rescue reveal that the vessel had actually sunk. It started to take in water from the rear after the section was over-packed with equipment.
The five officers were in the water for about 4 hours and 15 minutes before being spotted by a civilian boat captained by Mario Meighan.
One of the rescuers, Carl Meighan, told local media, “Three persons [were] drifting, and so we went to check on them and then while we were picking them up, they told us that 2 more persons were a distance away.
“We heard them making noise. They were about 3 minutes away, so we had to help them and then went to pick up the other ones. The lady Coast Guard didn’t have any life vest, so while we were trying to bring her up, she almost drowned and the police officer wasn’t able to move, so we had to bring him into the boat. After that, we started heading in.”
Meighan added, “We escorted them all the way to the base and spent about 2 hours there. When we first saw them, we thought they were in training, and when we got close and saw the situation with their boat underwater, we hurriedly helped pull them out.”
The five security personnel were saved, but one Coast Guard officer suffered fuel burns to about 20% of his body. A female police officer who experienced cramps while in the water was also hospitalized briefly, but is reported to be in a good condition, according to Commander Gregory Soberanis.
The other men who carried out the heroic rescue are Norris Meighan, Dylan Belisle, Melvin Mckay, and Keaton Westby.