7 News Belize

Man Injured In Coast Guard Accident Explains
posted (January 23, 2013)
Over the weekend there was a boat accident on the sea that involved a Belize Coastguard Boston Whaler vessel and a semi submerged barge.

The accident happened around 5:20 on Saturday morning between St George's Caye and Drowned Caye. The Coastguard vessel was transporting a Film Crew to St George's Caye when it crashed into the semi submerged barge. Roughly about 22 passengers were onboard, 3 of who were coast guard officers.

Several persons were injured including the film's lead actor and co-producer Corin Nemec. Nemec received a broken leg and was transported to the Medical Associate's Hospital in Belize were he had to receive emergency surgery. He is tonight recovering and spoke with 7news from his hospital bed.

He told us his crew has been filming out at St George's Caye for a few days and that the Belize Coastguard was a part of the movie storyline. But on that day he says they were going too fast and the boat driver didn't see the wreck that lay ahead:

Corin Nemec - Injured In Boat Accident
"But, we hit the sinking barge, and that is what filled the boat to one side immediately with an enormous amount of force, and that threw me into the side of the boat where I shattered my femur in 3 places. It was the doctor here on call, who has been amazing, Doctor Smith, he said that it's the worst break that he's had to deal with, and I lost over half of the blood in my body during they trauma, and during the operation, and I still don't have the right blood count yet. I still am getting more blood transfusions later today, so that's been very scary; the whole event was very scary. Everybody onboard that boat, including the gentlemen working for the Coast Guard, everyone is lucky to be alive. I have not been approached by anyone from either the Port Authority, or the Coast Guard, or Police. Neither has anyone else who was on the boat, to my knowledge - I've spoken with many of them; they came by to see how I am doing - there have been on one. No one has asked me anything. You are the first people to have asked me anything. I don't know about any kind of legal recourse or anything like that. I am just trying to deal with the traumatic nature of it. It was one of the first times in my life where I didn't actually didn't think I was going to survive something. The one thing was probably most scary is that none of us were equipped with life vests. None of us were given life vests when were on the boats any of the days when we were travelling. So, if the boat had flipped, that was another thing I'd been concerned about for a couple of days. I just assumed that this must just be such a normal drive back and forth to these locations that no one is concerned about the safety of the individuals on the boats, so they didn't give us life vests. When I questioned it, it was just a 'Oh no, this is just a short little 5-mile drive out there and everything.' And I can only assume that people are operating the way that they are supposed to operating."

The Coastguard has ended all activities with the film company and says that the accident is being investigated.

They plan to repair the vessel.

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