Belize River in Cayo Claims Another Life

Many people frequent the river, especial during days of hot weather. Yesterday, May 1st, was no exception. At the height of the midday sun 18 year old Travis Gongora,18 year old  Justin Lamb, of Camalote Village and another friend from Ontario village went swimming in the Belize river just behind the  Ontario Christian School.

At around 1:30 pm Lamb reportedly jumped into the water and did not resurface. It is feared that he has drowned and the BDF are currently combing the area for his body. Officer in Charge of the Belmopan Police,   Howell Gillett, updated us on the search.

vlcsnap-2014-05-02-19h30m34s29Sargeant Howell  Gillett- Officer in Charge of the Belmopan Police

“Yesterday, around 1:30 p.m., a guy, Travis Gongora of Ontario village along with Justin Lamb and one Shane Mejia, they went swimming in the Ontario area, just behind the church school. Justin Lamb jumped into the river and he hasn’t resurfaced since.  There has been effort from the police and the community working in partnership, with divers, but so far, it has been fruitless.  But as we speak, (we have enlisted the support of the BDF) if they are not there, they are almost there to assist in the search with their professional people and equipment.  At this moment, until we find something tangible, we are treating it as a missing person report.  Btu we are using all our effort and everything within our capabilities to bring closure if indeed this child has died”

vlcsnap-2014-04-22-22h12m34s250The Coast Guard are normally the ones called out to search and recovery but as they are busy with the recovery effort in San Pedro, the Belize Defense Force has been doing the search.

According to Officer Gillett, this time of the year, youths need to be particularly careful when going to swim in any body of water and take all necessary precautions.

Sergeant Howell  Gillett: “If you cannot swim, then try to stay in the waters where you can handle it, and don’t go into the deep.  So, I appeal to the public that although this is the dry season and people want to go out and cool off in the rivers, but we must be careful when we are doing so.  Always have adult supervisions nearby, in cases of emergency”.

We will keep you updated on the Search and Recovery effort as it unfolds.

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