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Maritime Incidents

Home Maritime Corner Maritime Incidents

In accordance with the Harbours and Merchant Shipping Act (Substantive), CAP 234, Section 41 (i) (a) obligates the Ports Commissioner to make inquiries into shipwrecks or other casualties affecting ships.

However, it is the responsibility of the Master of the vessel to immediately report any and all marine casualties/incidents to the Belize Port Authority. No vessel shall be removed from the location of the site of such casualty or incident without the written approval of the Ports Commissioner unless such movement is required to protect life and property.

Maritime casualties/incidents shall be reported to the National Maritime Communications Center on VHF Channel 16 or Emergency Hotline: 966. 

Mariners are reminded to practice safe boating and to follow the rules of the road.

The Authority will continue in its effort to ensure that mariners are in compliance to safeguard life at sea and the environment.

Marking of Channels

A green buoy with green light marks the right (starboard) side of a channel when leaving the harbour and a red buoys with red light marks the left (port) side of a channel. The reverse applies when coming back into the harbour.


Tying up, hanging unto ( except a mooring buoy or beacon) or destruction of a buoy is prohibited and illegal. Anyone caught in violation will be criminally charged. 

Actions during restricted visibility

In times of restricted visibility (fog, heavy rain) a bell, horn or whistle should be sounded by vessels to alert other vessels in the vicinity of their approach.

These navigational lights play a vital role in Belize’s coastal waters and are of national interest.