Serious Safety Issues With Chuka Tours Belize

It’s been some time ago the group Fectab ( President Tom Greenwood) has been sounding the ALERT BELLS regarding Chuka Tours Belize.  It seems the chickens are coming home to roost.  CHUKA BELIZE has been operating their poor safety tours by sheer luck however the tale tale signs of a company with serious operating problems is now coming to light.  Last two weeks ago they suffered an incident on their zip lining tour, two cruise ship guests were injured and also a guide.  This week, imagine one of their carnival tour bus (premier charters) filled with cruise ship guests from Carnival had defaulted brakes and ran over a park ranger.  Can anyone imagine how catastrophic it would have been if the brakes would have given in while on the George Price Highway? Could have been deadly.   It is no secret that Chuka is paying sweat shop salaries to their guides (40bz per day) it is no secret that they have an IBC account where Carnival makes payments into these accounts and the foreign exchange that comes to Belize is pittance .  Why? It’s all designed to do tax evasion .   At the end of the day it boils down to Profits,Profits,Profits, at the expense of the hard working Belizeans .

Chuka utilizes the cheapest resources possible for all their tours, old school buses, old boats,  no maintenance whatsoever to their equipment, bottom line is MONEY.  So why is it that a Cruise-line like Carnival is willing to jeopardize the safety of their guests with a company like Chuka?  Why is the BTB (Minister, Laura,Tracey and Diane Haylock) choose to give preferential treatment to the Jamaicans Chuka above the Belizean operators ?.   We at Belize Consultant ask to all Media Houses lets follow this story closely , lets ask the tough questions.   We need to see what is going to be the police report. And above all we need to ensure that the safety standards for tourists in this country to be monitored for the well being of our tourist experience and economy.

Please Note : This email sent to Carnival executives , Chuka Mark Melvile, Minister of Transport Edmond Castro, Minister of Police John Saldivar, Belize Tourism Board, Prime Minister Of Belize

Belize Consultant

A Park Ranger is crushed on the George Price Highway

Aug 8, 2013 – A Chukka Tours bus ran over a Park Ranger this morning at the Nohoch Che’en National Park, located at the Caves Branch Outpost off the George Price Highway. Eyewitnesses told News Five that the Ranger, identified only as Jeremy, was manning the checkpoint at the entrance to the Park when he was run over by the bus. One witness, Lincoln Gordon, told us the bus actually ran over the body of Jeremy and dragged him about seven yards. Gordon was the one who pulled Jeremy from under the bus and transported him to the Western Regional Hospital. He told us that the Ranger was delirious at the time. According to those on the scene, the driver of the bus which contained thirty-two tourists claimed that as he approached the barrier his brakes failed and he could not stop. At news time we have confirmed that Jeremy is suffering from severe lower body injuries, a broken arm and internal bleeding. He was transferred to the K.H.M.H. for treatment this evening. We’ll have more on this story on Friday’s newscast.

Source: Channel 5 Belize

Warden Pinned By Bus At Cave’s Branch

August 8, 2013 – Tonight, a Park Ranger from the Nohoch Che’en National Park, better known as Caves Branch Outpost, is at the Belmopan Hospital recovering from injuries he received this morning when a tour bus ran over him at the park’s entrance.

Police have not released the official details, but 7News has been informed that at around 9:30 this morning the ranger went to manage the entrance of the park, which had a checkpoint for all vehicles to stop. The ranger was caught off-guard when the bus didn’t stop, hit him, and then dragged him a few yards under the bus.

One of the eyewitnesses was Lincoln Gordon, who is owner of Caves Branch River Restaurant and Bar, located inside the national park. He told us how the entire situation unfolded, and how he rushed into to help the injured ranger:

Lincoln Gordon – Eyewitness
“We saw the bus coming down but when the busses come down they normally stop over there because the ranger has to go on the bus to check how many people are on the bus so they can mark it down. I notice that as the bus was coming down, the ranger was passing in front of the bus – I probably thought that he thought that the bus would have stopped but the bus just ran right through, it hit him, hit the barrier and then the bus dragged him for five yards under the bus. When we saw it we ran over here and the bus came to a complete stop and we had to drag the guy from under the bus. I spoke to someone over there and he said that the driver told him that at the point of stopping – the brakes failed so he was unable to stop the bus. Most of his injuries were from his hip go down, I think that just from the way we had to pick him up, because I was the one that took him to the hospital – I think that he’s going to have some major injury from the hip go down. I could have gotten him to the hospital earlier but the road is so terrible, I had to creep 6 or 7 miles before I could have picked up a good speed so I could have taken to the hospital as quickly as possible. ”

Daniel Ortiz
“If it was a life and death situation, it could have been quite different.”

Lincoln Gordon
“If it was a life and death situation, that guy would have definitely died.”

According to Gordon, the road to the national park is desperate need of repairs. We also spoke to the Police Press Officer, who told us that the ranger suffered minor injuries.

Source: 7 News Belize


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