Headline — 04 August 2018 — by Courtney Menzies
Popular cabinet maker and basketball enthusiast drowns near Moho Caye

MOHO CAYE, Belize City, Thurs. Aug. 2, 2018– A popular and skilled cabinet maker and basketball coach of the Belama area tragically lost his life at sea yesterday, Wednesday, while he was travelling to St. George’s Caye. David Alamilla, 37, was half a mile away from Moho Caye, which is about 1/3 of a mile away from the Municipal Airport on the north side of Belize City, when a series of events which led to his drowning, took place.

The disastrous string of events which claimed Alamilla’s life began when he and four of his co-workers boarded a 32-foot boat which was towing a 26-foot skiff that was loaded with lumber.  According to one of Alamilla’s coworkers, Andrew Middleton, 31, they were going to use the lumber to build a bodega out on St. George’s Caye.

When the boat was near Moho Caye, which is less than ten miles away from St. George’s Caye, water began to enter the skiff over the side, and the men shut the engine down and tried to get the water out of the skiff. One of the men – the captain, according to Middleton – went into the water to try and secure the skiff to their boat, but rough waves caused him to start drifting out to sea.

The captain began calling out for a lifejacket, and Alamilla grabbed one and jumped into the water to help him. Alamilla was able to get the lifejacket to the captain, but the rough seas caused him to begin struggling himself.

Middleton said that he saw that Alamilla would not have been able to swim back to the boat, which had drifted away. Therefore, he grabbed another lifejacket and swam towards Alamilla.

Once in the water, Middleton discovered that the waves were too rough for him to try and swim back to the boat so he and Alamilla held on to the lifejacket.

Unfortunately, the events triggered an asthma attack in Alamilla. Middleton said that Alamilla began frothing at the mouth, and all he could do was hold on to him and hope for a rescue.

Sadly, help did not come in time. The men had set out to sea sometime after 11 a.m., and they weren’t picked up by police until around 1:30 p.m. By then, Alamilla had already drowned.

Since the news of his death, there has been an outpouring of messages and posts on social media in honor of Alamilla, many of which highlighted his dedication to his community and his family. Through his cabinet making, as well as the basketball teams he organized in Belama, Alamilla has had a large positive impact on the people around him.  He leaves behind his wife, a son and a daughter.

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