Coast Guard Boat collision claims Life Print E-mail
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Thursday, 06 February 2014 00:00

benjamin gentle.jpg - 33.34 KbBenjamin Jerome Gentle Jr., a 20 year-old resident of Crooked Tree Village, died in an accident between 2 Coast Guard boats which injured 10 others on January 31. The Boats were ferrying people across the flooded causeway as has been happening for weeks since it became flooded from the excess rains affecting the country last year.

 Ladyville police found his body at around 6:30 a.m., inside one of the boats with huge chop wounds to his shoulder, under his right arm, and the right side of his lower back. The preliminary finding suggests that he got sliced to death from the propeller blade of the other boat engine when the two vessels collided.

 From what police have been able to piece together, at around 5:30 a.m. the two boats were ferrying people across the lagoon, and one of the drivers lost control of his vessel, causing it to slam into the other boat. The force of the larger boat caused it to ride over the side of the smaller boat, where Benjamin Gentle and the other 10 students were. That’s when the propeller came close enough to slice Gentle to death.

 Commander Elton Bennett, the Vice-Commandant of the Belize Coast Guard has told the media that the two drivers of the Coast Guard Boats were approaching each other to make an exchange, and while they were close enough, one of the boats suffered an engine malfunction which cause the driver to lose control, and that’s when the accident happened. He added that he finds it questionable that they were trying to do a transfer while en route and not at a drop off point, which is not normal operating procedure.

At this time, the matter is being investigated by the Belize Port Authority, the Police Department as well as the Coast Guard.

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 February 2014 15:34