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Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline OP
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Tonight, there are grave concerns for the health of Corozal resident Lionel Velazquez after he went missing at sea on Wednesday.

For the past 2 days, the Coast Guard has been out on the sea looking for the 28 year old Paraiso villager who went over board on Wednesday evening while on the way to his job at the Turneffe Island Resort.

The management of the resort have confirmed via a press release that on Wednesday afternoon, their vessel, Eagle Ray, departed the dock at the Radisson Hotel with a captain and 7 employees, Velasquez included. At around 7 that night, when the Eagle Ray was passing through the shipping channel into open waters, Velasquez fell overboard. Fellow passengers witnessed the accident, and alerted the captain immediately. They circled back for him, and searched the surrounding waters.

At the same time, a "man overboard" distress signal was sent to the Turneffe Island Resort, which quickly got in touch with the Belize Coast Guard. The swift response included the Coast guard, and 2 other Turneffe Island Resort Vessels which spent hours searching the area of the channel where Velasquez fell overboard. They've spent all of Thursday, and most of Friday's daylight hours looking for him, but they've been unable to find him.

And while the resort's employees and the coast guard have been on an intensive search, his family is worried sick.

Yesterday, our colleagues from CTV 3 News spoke with his dad, Hilberto Velasquez, and here's what he had to say:

Voice of: Hilberto Velasquez - Father of Lionel Vasquez
"At this moment, I don't know anything about the case of my son. And that is what I would want to know. What happened? Until now, we don't know anything about him. It's sad to not know where your son is. All I want is justice and to know where he ended up."

The press release from the management of the Turneffe Island RESORT says that they are, quote, "committed to do anything and everything possible to recover Lionel".

Channel 7

Corozal Man Fell Out of Boat, Now Missing

A thirty-year-old mechanic from Paraiso Village in the Corozal District is missing at sea since Wednesday and his family fears the worst. This afternoon, Anna Leticia Revolorio came to News Five studios on Coney Drive asking for assistance from boaters and pilots to help in the search of her husband, Lionel Velasquez. The Turneffe Island Resort confirmed that just after seven p.m. on Wednesday, Velasquez fell overboard the Eagle Ray watercraft past the shipping channel into open waters; on board were six other employees and the captain en route to the resort. Revolorio says her husband left home around five that morning.

Anna Leticia Revolorio, Wife of Missing Man [Translated]

"On Wednesday around nine a.m., he left from home to go to work. He works at Turneffe Island Resort. What I know is that at seven-thirty in the night, he feel overboard and up to now he cannot be found. What I am asking is that any boat, boaters, fishers, Tropic Air, Maya Island Air, please look while you are traveling to look below to see if you find him. We only want to find him. That's all we are asking to everyone please."

Duane Moody

"What is the boat captain saying happened?"

Anna Leticia Revolorio

"That he was on the edge of the boat and he slipped and fell. He didn't say anything else. That's all I know; that he was on the edge and he fell. That's all that we know."

Search Continues with Eagle Eyes of Coast Guard

Efforts to locate him were immediately conducted by the captain to recover Velasquez, while a 'man overboard' distress signal was radioed in to the resort. According to a release issued by the resort, the Belize Coast Guard was contacted within minutes and two additional vessels from the resort were deployed to aid in search and rescue efforts. That search continued into Thursday morning after which a helicopter with full search and rescue personnel onboard provided aerial support alongside the coast guard team.� Up until news time, Velasquez has still not been located and Revolorio says she is hopeful that her husband is still alive.

Anna Leticia Revolorio, Wife of Missing Man [Translated]

"We haven't lost hope. We pray to God that he is in an area waiting for us to rescue him. For that reason we need help from everyone out there in the sea to assist us to in finding him. That's the only thing that I am asking the public to help with. If you see, to all the fishermen at sea, please help us to find him."

Duane Moody

"How old was he? Does he have kids?"

Anna Leticia Revolorio

"He is thirty years old and yes, we have two children, a daughter and a son and an unborn child."

Channel 5

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,398
Marty Offline OP
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Body found at sea identified as that of missing man

Police have confirmed that a body was found earlier today at sea; and they have identified the corpse as that of Leonel Velasquez, who was missing.

Coast Guard personnel found Velasquez' body between Middle Caye and Alligator Caye this afternoon.

The Reporter

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,398
Marty Offline OP
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Police say that Lionel Velasquez's death was an accident. Velasquez was traveling on a boat last Wednesday heading to Turneffe Island Resort where he works, when he fell overboard and was lost at sea.� His body was recovered on Saturday.

Inspector Wilfred Ferrufino:“Mr. Jose Miranda, Manager of Turneffe Island Resort reported that on the 18th> of April 2018 a vessel which was travelling from Belize City to Turneffe Island Resort with workers and upon reaching somewhere six miles in front of English Caye one of the workers fell off the vessel and efforts were made to try to locate him, however they were fruitless. Assistance was sought out by the Coast Guard to assist in the search however he was not located. On the 21st that would be on Saturday, sometime around 3pm Coast Guard discovered a body of a male person floating somewhere around Middle and Alligator Caye. The body was received, a post mortem was conducted, and it was identified to be that of Lionel Velasquez, a 30 year old mechanic of Paraiso Village and a worker of Turneffe Island Resort. There were no visible injuries to him; the post mortem concluded that he died from Asphyxia due to inhalation of fluid, consistent with drowning.”

Reporter: Sir the resort has released a statement saying that this was an accident that the gentleman fell overboard well beyond anybody being able to come to his aid. Have police investigated to verify that indeed there version of events is indeed accurate.

Inspector Wilfred Ferrufino:“Right we have obtained several statements from persons who witnessed the incident and all indications from those statement is that indeed it may have been an accident, that he genuinely fell over, he lost footing on the edge of the boat and I think he was trying to grasp onto the canopy of the boat and he lost footing and gripping of that part of the vessel and he fell over.”


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