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Apr 21, 2015

Belize City Man Drowns While Saving His Stepdaughter

Jamil Canto

In Monday’s newscasts we told you about the death of three persons over the weekend—the murder-suicide of well known couple Michael Estell and Colleen Sharp in Ladyville and the execution of tour guide, Vern Magdaleno. But there was another fatality over the weekend in the Belize District. A father of five young children, twenty-seven year old Jamil Canto drowned in the river at a popular site in Gracie Rock located off mile twenty-two on the George Price Highway. Canto sacrificed his life to save his twenty-year old step daughter who was drowning. In his attempt to pull her out of the deep water, he went down and did not resurface. Residents in the area went to his rescue, but those attempts were unsuccessful. His common-law wife, Denise Flowers, told us about the unfortunate incident.

 

Denise Flowers, Common-law Wife of Deceased

“Six people mi di look fi drowned and he mi di insist to help. They say he deh under the water, ih head deh under the water; ih di bubble up and he mi just insist in saving this young lady cause nobody neva realize that it was her step-daughter at the moment. They say a man Mister Jenkins come along ina the dorey and help rescue the lee gial and dah then she tell them that her step-father deh down there too. The man gone down there and see ahn and the man come back up and dah soh dehn gone and get help for ahn.”

 

Duane Moody

“So he drowned saving someone else?”

 

Denise Flowers

Denise Flowers

“Yeah, he drown saving his step-daughter.”

 

Duane Moody

“Now did he know how to swim?”

 

Denise Flowers

“Yeah he know how to swim, but according to what I mi di hear the pan mi really deep and dah the amount of hours weh ih mi deh deh because like weh dehn say, this young lady naturally di drown and he insist. And that is the first thing I di say; how he wah drowned when he know fi swim?  But this morning, the young man call me and explain to me that this young man, he deh under the water and only ih two hand dehn yo di see. But this young man insist ah making sure that this young lady alive; that this young lady alright. Weh the post mortem tell we just now, dah drown.”

 

Duane Moody

“So he made the ultimate sacrifice; sacrificed his life to save her?”

 

Denise Flowers

“Yeah, he sacrificed his life. I very…I am…glad the way he was thinking because maybe ih wah can’t come back and answer to me too. I glad for the mentality, but at the same time too, I end up the loose he; so dah still one my door ih come knock. And this dah mi like one Sunday…outta every Sunday since the lent begin, the whole Easter holiday…every Sunday I woulda say unu noh know dah water, unu noh know dah water…dah weh unu di go dah that water. He dah noh somebody weh usually go. He mi di do wah fishing job before the Easter holiday and he say babe, I got wah feeling I wah drowned and so ih stop go dah sea. And then ih start doing wah lee construction work with CISCO, ih mi di throw clay. And then for the Easter holiday ih mi gone dah Corozal; ih neva did come back for like a week and change after. When ih come back ih only deh bout three days when ih come back from Corozal…three days because he was supposed to return back to work yesterday.”

 

Duane Moody

“So he doesn’t usually go there to swim?”

 

Denise Flowers

“It is not the first time that he’s ben there because he knows the water. But dah noh something that ih usually; in a long while ih noh gone up there then. Dah oh something that ih usually do…pick up and go with that crew deh. Dah crew usually go by themselves and this dah one Sunday I neva even mi have time fi tell dehn bout it because I tell them about it every Sunday. He noh even usually deh with dah crowd deh. Dah just wah vibes.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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