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Apr 19, 2021

A Search to Recover the Body of Drowning Victim, Herwin Godoy

Herwin Godoy Sr.

An employee of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital lost his life on Sunday afternoon while swimming in the Belize River in Grace Bank. Despite frantic efforts to save him, he was pulled away by the undercurrent. Today the search continued for his body. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

From as early as five a.m. today, family, friends and residents from the community lined the banks of the Belize River, others joined personnel from the Belize Coast Guard as searches occur to recover the body of thirty-three-year-old Herwin Godoy Senior.


Chief Petty Officer Tyrone Edwards, Belize Coast Guard

“What we are doing is conducting some search patterns. Basically the undercurrent is very strong so at this moment, we are doing some dives along with the current to see. Also there are a lot of broken trees and stuff below so maybe he could get caught up in there. But the current is strong and it’s already passed a lot of time. So definitely the location where the incident occurred, the body would have already drift through the night further downstream.”


On Sunday afternoon, Godoy and his brother Andre went swimming and ended up in Grace Bank – it’s not a popular area where persons would normally go to recreate, but minutes after Herwin Senior entered the river and made an about turn, he went down.  Overwhelmed by the tragic incident, Andre managed to recount what happened.


Andre Godoy

Andre Godoy, Brother of Deceased

“I swim straight cross to the next side of the river and we sit down there, but Herwin neva come yet. Herwin still had my car key and he mi di text; he neva come ina di water yet. So after that he change ih clothes – fi tell yo di truth, fi see weh color pants ih had on, I noh know. All I know is I see Herwin di swim come to me happy, happy, happy. When ih start realise ih di drift weh so he turn back. Ina my mind, I shoulda mi tell ahn noh turn back, continue come across and yo relax on the bank. And he turn back, and the more ih swim, the current di push ah away. Right away I tell my friend, we have to watch ahn good. But ih swim strong, but I think ih feel ih coulda mi touch the bottom, but ih mi can’t touch. So ih gone down the first time, ih realise ih can’t touch, ih fight come up back. Ih start to swim again, second time ih gone down again lee bit closer in trying to touch and ih come up, can’t. And then I tell mi friend let’s go, but the distance weh we mi deh from ahn too far. So we try fi we best, well I try my best – my friend mi deh far ahead me and closer; he do ih thing. Third time I see my bredda gone down and ih neva come up. My friend reach closer to ahn and he gone down too. He say the first time he see ahn, but di current di push ahn weh. But sake ah weh we swim from far, ih get tired so he hurry pull up back fi ih breath. From there, gone again and try, but when ih gone down, noh see ahn.”


The family wants closure and are hoping that his body will be recovered today. Natasha Requeña, a cousin who is like a sister to the deceased, says that he leaves behind a son and a daughter.


Natasha Requeña

Natasha Requeña, Cousin of Deceased

“Herwin must have catch a cramp and that was the only way he wouldn’t be able to help himself. All played through my mind is his kids. Like what will happen to these kids. These are just two of his kids and let me tell you about Herwin. He’s a father. He worked at K.H.M.H. for over twelve years; very private. It’s so hard, unexpected. We still can’t believe it. So today, we are out here as a family, friends out here. All we want is closure. That’s all. We just want to plead to you guys to keep us in prayers, we need all these prayers. We need all these prayers. All we want is to find him body. We want to give him a proper burial because we know that he is gone. We know that he is gone and for these kids, it is so hard. They were everything to him; all he ever wanted was the best for his children.”


Andre Godoy

“My bredda dah mi wah awesome person; loving, friendly. You could ask anybody about he, everybody know Herwin. Everybody know ahn as H. He great mien. I enjoy everything with he.”


Recovery efforts will continue until the body is found.


Tyrone Edwards

Chief Petty Officer Tyrone Edwards

“The visibility is very bad. The water is murky, probably because of the rain last night that stirred it up. So all of that are factors that are slowing down the process.  We will continue. Based on the way the current is pushing that’s the way we are diving at the moment. Due to the visibility, we have to go feeling our way and feel. However, if we are not successful today, we will come back in the morning.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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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