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Nov 20, 2015

Tourist Drowns at Shark Ray Alley

There are many questions surrounding the death of an elderly American visitor who lost his life on Tuesday afternoon when he drowned off the coast of Caye Caulker.  Sixty-one-year-old Karl Edwin Simmons was discovered floating face down in the Caribbean Sea sometime before one o’clock after reportedly attempting to rescue his wife who suddenly began drifting inside a nearby channel. From our sources he is the sixth visitor to die this year in the tourism industry. According to a police report on the incident, fifty-six-year-old Esther Simmons had been snorkeling in Shark Ray Alley in the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve when the current swept her away.  In an effort to come to her aid, the security officer swam towards her but disappeared under water shortly thereafter.  Simmons’ body was later retrieved from the sea and transported to the Caye Caulker Polyclinic where he was pronounced dead on arrival.  An autopsy conducted on Simmons’ body certified that the cause of death is asphyxia by drowning.  This latest incident calls to question a number of concerns that have arisen in the wake of the accidental drowning.  Where were the tour guides assigned to the couple or group of snorkelers?  Why wasn’t there an official rescue effort to retrieve Esther Simmons from the channel?  News Five spoke with an official from the Belize Tourism Board on Wednesday who initially told us that Simmons had succumbed to cardiac arrest while on a snorkeling trip near Caye Caulker.


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