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Apr 21, 2021

Lifeguard Shares Tips on Swimming

Today, Herwin Godoy Senior was laid to rest following funeral services at the Wesley Church in Belize City. Godoy Senior drowned on Sunday at the river in Grace Bank and his body was recovered Tuesday morning. One of the men who helped in the search efforts is a lifeguard. Tonight he shares not only the traumatic experience, but also tips for swimmers in pools and open water, including sea and river.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Herwin Godoy was swimming across the river when he made an about turn; unfortunately, he was pulled under by the water current to his death and never made it to the riverbank. Even as his brother and a friend tried to rescue him, he could not be saved.


Andre Godoy

Andre Godoy, Brother of Deceased [File: April 19th, 2021]

“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.”


Herwin Godoy

Miguel Usher, Lifeguard

“We started to swim and I was the one to reach him first. And I saw him go down the second time so I said the third time he go down, he’s not going to come up back. When I went down to try to save him the only thing I saw was his bubbles so I went more down and I was already tired. I was fatigued. And I saw him and he had his hand out to reach for me and I grabbed his hand. When I grabbed his hand, I was tired so I had to come up and by the time I went back down, he was gone.”


Miguel Usher is a trained lifeguard with five years experience. He was part of the search team that took to the river diving to recover Godoy’s body.  The tragic incident over the weekend has him sharing some life-saving tips to keep in mind when you or your friends and family go swimming. He compares the differences in a pool and open water. A key point – do not panic.


Miguel Usher

“Swimming in a pool you can see the bottom of the pool. There are lifeguards around the pool so you are a bit safe. The difference between the sea and the river – that’s open water. The river we can’t see the bottom of the river. So if you go anywhere and want to go swim for the weekend or anything ask villagers that know about the river. The river has a really strong current and it could be deadly for someone that could swim, but they panic really quick and tragedy might happen. The sea, you gotta be very careful because to be honest, from my experience, the sea current is stronger than the river current because in the sea, if something happens to you, it’s really open water. We don’t know where to search or where to begin from. And I want to advise people if they are drinking, don’t go into water, don’t go near water; you want to be in control of the water.”


The traumatic incident is the second time that Usher has witnessed someone drowning, despite all efforts to save them.


Miguel Usher

Miguel Usher

“It is not a nice feeling to see someone go down in front of you and you can’t safe them because of the water and you can’t do anything about it. If you get caught up in the current by anyhow, don’t panic, just relax yoself, calm down yoself, turn back way, float on yo back and make the current drift yo. Don’t fight with the current, don’t beat yo yoself cause you gotta be in control of the water. The current will drift yo and ker yo into shore, intot he bank side and you just hold on pan something and safety wah come.”


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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