PC Bernard Ical missing in the jungle for 5 days


After nearly a week of collective search and rescue efforts, Police Constable Bernard Ical has been found and reunited with his family. P.C. Ical went missing on Wednesday, September 2, 2020 while on a joint patrol along with personnel from the Belize Defence Force (BDF). The team had descended on the Columbia Forest Reserve and was to return together at an area in San Jose Hawaii in the southern district of Toledo but when P.C. Ical failed to do so, his family, colleagues, superiors, and other persons became worried for his safety. During the time that he remained missing, countless police, BDF, and civilian parties set out to find him. The latest mission included Minister of National Security, Hon. Sen. Michael Peyrefitte, Commissioner of Police (COMPOL) Chester Williams, and personnel from the Belize Coast Guard. At around 2:00 p.m. on Monday, September 7, the worried community was able to breathe a sigh of relief when it was confirmed that PC Ical had safely found his way back to the Machaquila Outpost.
As a member of the Special Patrol Unit (SPU) of the Belize Police Department (BPD), P.C. Ical was tasked to join officers of the BDF for this mission. When Hurricane Nana was expected to make landfall in southern Belize; however, the team was recalled and all made it back safely except for PC Ical. How he was able to weather the storm in the dense terrain that is the southern jungles of Toledo would be quite the story to hear. What is known is that thankfully, the team trekked out with food and supplies that would have lasted them roughly two weeks. When the PC had made it back to the base, it was reported that he was in a good physical condition.
It is was a heartwarming story, which made its rounds on social media seeing P.C. Bernard Ical reunited with his wife and daughter. His wife, Claudia Ical, has expressed her gratitude and relief that her husband has returned safely to their family.
Ical told the media that he was to come out of the area but had lagged behind of the others. He became disoriented and was unable to find the track that the others took to return to the Machaquila outpost. It was not until Monday, September 7 that he was able to get his bearing as he saw the helicopter in which the Commissioner of Police and the Minister of National Security were in that he was able to orient himself and was able to return to the outpost. Ical said he survived by employing his training he received as part of the Special Patrol Unit.
COMPOL Williams stated that the protocols when doing joint patrols with police officers and BDF are being reviewed to avoid a repeat occurrence.