Since receiving report that a submersible remotely operated vehicle (ROV) was grounded on the crest of the barrier reef near the Mexico Rocks area in the vicinity of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, the Department of the Environment (DOE) collaborated with the Hol Chan Marine Reverse over the past weekend to remove the Deep Tech Quantum ROV.
The DOE hired Island Construction, a private company out of San Pedro, to provide the equipment and services necessary for the removal of the ROV. Together the team planned the best possible way to remove the ROV without causing unnecessary damage to the reef, as well as safeguarding the vehicle from further damages.
The team worked over the weekend and successfully removed the ROV on Saturday, March 21, 2015. The ROV is now in the possession of the Government of Belize in a secure location. The coral reef damage assessment will commence as soon as the weather conditions permit and will be done jointly with the Fisheries Department and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve.
The DOE is still in communications with the appropriate party responsible for this incident. It has been learnt that the ROV is a Deep Tech Quantum ROV under the responsibility of the company “ImpreSub”. According to a representative of ImpreSub, the company was hired by “Saipem”, an oil and gas service company working offshore Venezuela, when the ROV went missing on November 18, 2014. A representative of ImpreSub is currently in Belize to determine the extent of damage to the ROV and to verify if any of the instrumentation on board was recoverable.
* With respect to the sailboat “Termaji” that has been grounded on the reef since December 30, 2014, the DOE, with the assistance of the Solicitor General’s Office, has since applied to the Supreme Court to grant authority to the DOE to cut the steel hull of the sailboat into pieces for the safe removal from the reef. The DOE is currently awaiting a response with respect to this matter. (Click Link to read more on Sailboat grounded off Caye Caulker)