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Mar 13, 2023

Boating Mishap in Caye Caulker Leaves a Fisherman Dead

Jose Castro

A freak accident just off the coast of Caye Caulker on Saturday afternoon has left a well-known fisherman dead.  The grieving family is still trying to come to terms with what took place that resulted in Jose Castro’s fatal injuries.  While the police department is conducting an investigation of its own, so is the Belize Ports Authority.  What we’ve gathered is that the mishap may have been the result of the fisherman falling overboard and being badly injured by the propeller on the boats engine.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Forty-nine-year-old Jose Castro, a career fisherman, was alone at sea on a routine fishing trip over the weekend.  The father of four was inside this vessel, the Heydy Guadalupe, when the unthinkable happened.  It is likely that he fell overboard and was gravely injured by the prop on the outboard engine.


Fitzroy Yearwood

ASP Fitzroy Yearwood, Communications Director, B.P.D.

“Sometime around 1:55 p.m., police visited the Caye Caulker Health Clinic where they observed Jose Abilio [Castro] suffering from a cut wound, a large cut wound to his ankle and thigh and he was transported to the clinic by passersby in another boat who saw him.  He managed to get back into his boat but apparently he had already bled out.  The victim’s surname is Castro.  The wife indicated that he went to fish earlier that morning and she was notified that he was at the polyclinic.”


Marisela Jimenez, a family friend who requested not to appear on camera, shared her emotional response upon hearing of the tragedy at sea.  Along with several others, Jimenez was waiting for Castro to arrive with the day’s catch, but received bad news instead.


Voice of: Marisela Jimenez

Voice of: Marisela Jimenez, Family Friend

“My immediate reaction was that I got, I couldn’t believe it then because we were waiting there for some fish and seafood to come to deliver for a restaurant.  Like I just couldn’t believe it.  Like I broke down crying because I said that’s a lie, that they came and told us about it.  Then after that, my couple friends, fishermen, said go and see but I told them [that] I don’t have the strength to go and see that, so I called another friend to go and see if it was true.”


We caught up with Castro’s emotionally distraught wife on the island earlier today, but she has since lost her voice and asked Jimenez to speak on the family’s behalf.  The account given to investigators about the mishap has been corroborated by Deisy Castro.  According to Assistant Superintendent Fitzroy Yearwood, the incident is also being investigated by the Belize Ports Authority.


ASP Fitzroy Yearwood

“It would seem that he may have fallen out of the boat and got cut by the propeller of his engine.  But, like I said, we have to involve the port authority especially when it’s a life lost by the accident and apparently, he was on that boat all alone.  We know that we have interviewed his common-law [wife] who indicated that he went fishing.”


In describing Jose Castro, the family friend told News Five that he was committed to his children and ensuring that their wellbeing was fully taken care of.  He was also close with his colleagues at the fishing cooperative.


Isani Cayetano

“For all the many years you’ve known him as a fisherman, what was he like as a person?”


Marisela Jimenez

“A nice person, a nice friend.  He was just a good friend. He was a loving father to his kids, dedicated to his kids, worked hard for his kids to bring food to the table for them and stuff like that.  And he was like a good friend to everyone back there, like friends with all the fishermen.  Sometimes, they used to go by groups to go fishing and stuff like that.”


The results of the investigation that was conducted by the Belize Police Department, in the wake of the deadly incident, have been forwarded to their counterparts at the Belize Ports Authority.


ASP Fitzroy Yearwood

“We have sent our findings to the port authority and we will wait until they give us their end of the investigation.”


Isani Cayetano 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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