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Mar 8, 2022

Belize City Man on Family Outing Drowns In Caye Caulker

Rashaad Gillett, Deceased

A thirty-four-year-old Belize City resident met a tragic end over the weekend on Caye Caulker. Rashaad Gillett, a well-known Belize City traffic officer, was at The Split on Sunday when he decided to go for a swim. Unbeknownst to his relatives who were on the beach, Gillett was facing serious difficulties in the water. Minutes later, individuals on the beach reportedly alerted those around that Gillett appeared to be in need of assistance. But, by that time it was too late. News Five’s Paul Lopez reports.

 

Paul Lopez, Reporting

Rashaad Gillett was enjoying a cool Sunday morning at the popular Split on Caye Caulker with his family, when tragedy struck. The thirty-four-year-old father reportedly jumped in the water for a swim. Moments later, his body was seen floating in the sea.

 

Euan Gillett

Euan Gillett, Father of Deceased.

“The only thing I will say about it, and I am hearing it this morning, and I saw a post, and I am not upset because I was out there too, but doctors were on the site. Little afterwards a doctor showed up, and when we put in on the cart another one came up and basically pushed my brother off the cart. There was a doctor. When I got to the hospital or the polyclinic, there were two other doctors. So there were four, contrary to what is being circulated on social media. Two was at the split, one, first, another one when they put in on the cart and two more were there.”

 

CPR was performed on Gillett, but it proved fruitless.

 

Euan Gillett, Father of Deceased.

“He was quiet, with respect to my other children and son. Always willing to do things, go out of his way to help others. Rashaad went to B.E.S., before it was at St Catherine’s, before moving to the present location nearby. Then after that he went to St John’s High School. From there he attended two years of a mechanic school in Los Angeles. Upon returning in late ‘08 he hung about for a couple years, before getting the job at City Council, where he was presently working until his unfortunate passing.”

 

Gillett was employed by the Belize City Traffic Department as a traffic officer. Motorists who encountered him at his desk noted his warm and welcoming personality. Albert Vaughan, the Belize City Councilor responsible for traffic management spoke of the great loss to the Department.

 

Albert Vaughan

Albert Vaughan, Belize City Council

 “First of all if you allow me to send my sincere condolences to the family, particularly his wife and the father who I know well, also, to the extended family at the Belize City Council. Mr. Gillett is a great loss to us. He has been with the Council for over nine years. He started at customer service, so you can see where he went up. He is a technical person. He is not just a traffic officer. He is an inspector for vehicle. To hold that post, that has to be gazette and you have to be trained for it. It is a shock. This morning they held a little prayer vigil for him and for the family. It is unbelievable. People do not believe that Mr. Gillett gone just like that, nuh.”

 

Reports are that Gillett may have sustained an injury to the body when he jumped into the water. No one knows exactly how long Gillette was in the water struggling. By the time onlookers noticed that he was in need of assistance, his lifeless body had already floated a distance away from the split. Police say they are awaiting a postmortem.

 

ASP Fitzroy Yearwood

ASP Fitzroy Yearwood, Communications Director, Belize Police Department

“Rashaad Gillett was at the famous split with friends and family. He went for a swim. Minutes later, the relatives, his relatives, heard people shouting. Mr. Gillett was removed from the water where they tried to resuscitate him. He was rushed to the Caye Caulker Polyclinic where he was pronounced dead by the medical officer there.”

 

In the meantime, Gillett’s family is preparing to lay him to rest.

 

Euan Gillett, Father of deceased

“It is just an unfortunate incident and situation that happened. I was right there. So, no further comments on the situation.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.


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