Child drowns in the Belize District

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7 year old Chelsie Smith of Sandhill, Belize District, drowned in the Belize Old River on Sunday morning According to police, the mother, 33 year old Pamela Olivaria, was in Isabella Bank attending a function and decided to go fishing with her children, who were swimming in the river. Chelsie suddenly went down under the water and her mother tried to get to her, but the current caused the mother to start going down as well. While the mother was able to get to safety, the child did not resurface, and subsequent searches of the area by the Belize Coast Guard dive unit could not locate Chelsea’s body. On Monday we spoke with the chairman of Isabella Bank, who says he warned the family beforehand about the current.

Dudley Hendy – Chairman, Isabella Bank Village:
vlcsnap-2013-08-27-08h04m54s27When I came here first a lot of kids were in the water, and the lady was out fishing. So I went there and told them to get the kids of the water. It isn’t the time for kids to be in there because of the rain the water was raising.  I told them they had to also look out for crocodile. The lady didn’t pay me any attention, she just laughed.

 

There was a birthday party for Mr. Hendy.  So everybody was enjoying themselves.  They were playing games.

He goes on to explain what transpired.

Dudley Hendy – Chairman, Isabella Bank Village:
vlcsnap-2013-08-27-08h09m00s170So I came out and I heard a screaming. So I said something is happening there, but those boys said it was the kids that were making noise. When I turned around I saw Mr. Shedlock Hendy ran from off the step and he took off his shirt and jumped in. I ran there and asked him what happened.  He said the little girl went down. I said where.  He said right there. I told them to get the kids out of the water and they didn’t listen. The lady was out there fishing and I think the kids must have wanted to go around where the mother was and she slipped out.

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