Valdemar Alpuche Jr.

A thirty-nine-year old custom officer well-known in Corozal Town tragically lost his life on Sunday afternoon. Valdemar Alpuche Junior and his two daughters were trying out a brand new jet ski in the Corozal Bay when all went awfully wrong. From all accounts, they were not wearing life vests when they were flung into the water and while his daughters were safely brought to shore, the lifeless body of the custom officer was pulled out of the sea about an hour later. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

Duane Moody, Reporting

A family outing in Corozal Bay turned tragic on Sunday after a thirty-nine year old customs officer lost his life at sea. Valdemar Alpuche Junior, his two minor daughters and some friends went swimming at the bay in the south end area near Hotel Maya. They had just arrived when Alpuche Junior and his two daughters tested out a new jet ski that was gifted to him.

Dennis Arnold

Supt. Dennis Arnold, O.C., Corozal Police

“At about minutes to three, police were called out to the south end area of Corozal Town in front of Caribbean Tires where upon arrival at the sea front, they were informed of a male person who was supposedly still underneath the water. Some hour later, he was retrieved; his name was learned to be Valdemar Alpuche Junior, thirty-nine years of Corozal Town. He was taken to the Corozal Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.”

After the watercraft flung Alpuche Junior and his two daughters into the water, in trying to save his girls, he began swimming with them towards the shore. Some residents jumped into the sea in an effort to assist and managed to bring the girls ashore. But Alpuche Junior, it is believed, experienced a cramp and went under. Fifty minutes later, his body was retrieved from the water following a search by residents and coastguard personnel.

Supt. Dennis Arnold

“For some reason or the other, they were thrown off by a wave and that’s when Alpuche went under. His two daughters were saved, but unfortunately he wasn’t.”

Duane Moody

“Did search for his body was conducted by police or residents in the area?”

Supt. Dennis Arnold

“….Residents in the area; thereafter the coastguard officers came and a search party was organized and the body was retrieved.”

It is an overwhelming time for the family, who wished not to comment on camera today. Officer Commanding Corozal Police, Superintendent Dennis Arnold gave warnings to persons swimming in the area.

Supt. Dennis Arnold

“I don’t know for what reason they didn’t have on any life vest, but once you’re in the water, you need to put on your life vest and ensure that it is properly strapped so that in the event that you fall into the water, you can’t say what will happen. It is a genuine accident. If you can’t swim, maybe the distance you are away from shore, maybe the water is deep and you can’t help yourself in that manner…the life vest will keep you afloat. Your head will definitely stay out of the water.”

Duane Moody for News Five.

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