General — 06 May 2014 — by Albert J. Ciego

The body of Justin Lamb, 18, of Camalote, Cayo, was recovered from the Macal River in the Ontario area at about 9:00 Saturday morning, two days after he jumped into the river for a swim and failed to resurface.

His body was taken to the Belmopan Hospital, where a post-mortem was carried out to certify the cause of his death.

Police say that at about 12:30 Thursday afternoon, May 1, Lamb and two friends, Travis Gongora, 18, and another man from Ontario, went swimming in the area behind the Ontario Christian School. Lamb jumped into the river, went under the water and did not resurface.

His friends, who were waiting for him to emerge from the water, became anxious, when he failed to do so. They immediately began a search for him, but the water was murky and the current was strong, which impeded their efforts.

They then raised the alarm; police were called and people of the area responded and a search to find Lamb began, but it was not successful. The search was carried out again on Friday, but again, the effort to find Lamb was in vain.

On Saturday morning his body was found floating. It was quickly retrieved and taken to the Belmopan Hospital.

Foul play was ruled out, and the death has been ruled as a drowning.

Jonathan Requeña, 14, of San Ignacio, drowned in a similar fashion while swimming in the Macal River on the afternoon of Saturday, April 26. Requeña was swimming with his friend in an area between the Hawksworth Bridge and a low-lying bridge when he began to struggle, went under and did not resurface.

His friends immediately went to help him, but the effort was unsuccessful. Requeña was later found, but he was already dead.

The Commander of Belmopan police, Assistant Superintendent Howarth Gillette, reminds those who cannot swim, or who are weak swimmers, to stay in water they can handle, or where they feel safe and comfortable, and not to go into the deep.

He reminds the public that although this is the dry season and people want to cool off in the rivers, they must be careful when doing so, and urges young swimmers to get adult supervision to ensure their safety.


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