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Oct 29, 2013

Search continues in Succotz for elderly man who dies in boating accident

Carlos Valdez

A search is underway in the Mopan River near Succotz for the body of a sixty-five year old resident who died while crossing the river. Carlos Valdez and his family would traverse the river as a way of life, but the rising river levels would devour him on Monday morning. He was swept away when his canoe capsized. Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Sixty-five year old Carlos Valdez would regularly paddle across the Mopan River to his plantation on the other side to fetch produce. But on Monday morning after ten, during a routine trip across the river with one of his workers, their canoe capsized. While Luis Baron made it to the river bank, Valdez went under and never surfaced.

 

Luis Baron, Survived Boating Accident (Translated)

Luis Baron

“We went to get plantains and when we were going on a return trip, we had an accident. He did not resurface; he went under. I managed to swim to the river bank. We would normally travel across the river every eight days to get products.”

 

Consuelo Castellanos, Sister of Deceased

“They were crossing the third time to bring the last amount and the dorey turned over.”

 

Consuelo Castellanos

Duane Moody

“He usually does go across the river to go to that plantation; is that something that he did every time?”

 

Consuelo Castellanos

“Yes because he has his farm right there. He would usually go every two weeks.”

 

Coast Guard and dive experts, since Monday, have been conducting searches of the overflowing and murky river to locate Valdez’s body.

 

Kent Martinez

Cpl. Kent Martinez, O.C., C.I.B., Benque Police

“The canoe capsized in the river, Mister Luis Baron; however, Mister Carlos Valdez was unable to swim across and submerged into the Mopan River and has not resurfaced since. As a result of that, a statement was recorded from Mister Luis Baron and we have since got in contact with the coast guard personnel in order to assist us with locating the body.”

 

According to Valdez’s sister, Consuelo Castellanos, ever since they were kids they would have crossed the river regardless of its condition. The news has shocked the entire family because they once traversed the river daily.

 

Consuelo Castellanos

“From when we are small, we usually crossed the river higher than that. We mi used to come the school—cross in the morning and go back in the evening—and they usually swim that river; they know that river good. but something wrong happened.”

 

The police say that it continues to advise residents not to cross the river in its current state. Duane Moody for News Five.

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