The search is on for three Cuban men missing at sea after their cargo boat capsized near Caye Caulker Village. Reports are that the vessel was carrying 11 men when it capsized just after midnight on Sunday, March 20. Most men have been accounted for but three are still missing. Ambergris Today contacted Sgt. Leslie Wade of the Caye Caulker Police Station for an official report on this matter.
According to the police report on Sunday, March 20, 2011, at about 1:00 am, information was received from The Belize Coast Guard of a cargo vessel that had sunk about two miles out of the outer reef, east of Caye Caulker Village. Initial investigations revealed that the vessel was a cargo ship, 74 meters in length and 11 meters in width, with the name HELGA that was traveling from Panama and was heading to Mexico with a shipment of salt.
The crew consisted of 11 male persons, all of Cuban Nationality. The crew rescued were: Iraelio Mengana Garcia, 47-year-old; Armando Garnado Martinez, 47-year-old; Antonio Perez Sadez, 37-year-old; Humberto Iglesias Hernandez, 49-year-old; Alfredo Porta Martinez, 43-year-old; Jose Consta Nalia, 46-year-old; George Herrera Aldana, 38-year-old; Joaquin Ruiz De Zarate Arribas, 39-year-old.
The three that are still missing are Arthuro Edreira Cuza (Captain), Nelson Perez Ardao and Alexis Gonzalez Cuni, these men are still being sought by Coast Guard, Police and local personnel.
As a result of said incident the area was combed by Coast Guard and local personnel and eight of the men were rescued and were in good health with minor injuries. The Cuban Embassy was informed of the incident and all eight men were handed over to Immigration officer Mrs. Martinez.