Thursday, July 31, 2014

Guam's Waters Claim Two Lives in Christmas Day Swimming Tragedy

Guam News - Guam News

Guam - Guam's waters claimed the lives of  2 men in a Christmas Day tragedy off  the Jonestown cliff-line.

Guam Fire Spokesman Lt. Ed Artero says the body of a 37 year old man was recovered by divers about 5:30pm Wednesday. A second 40 year old man who was pulled alive from the water, was later pronounced dead at Naval Hospital, says GMH Nursing Supervisor Cely Mangrobang.

Lt. Artero says  the 911 call came in just before 4pm. GPD's Harbor Unit and the Coast Guard joined in the rescue and subsequent recovery effort.

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In addition to the 2 Christmas Day deaths, Mangrobang says a 67 year old Japanese tourist died Tuesday. He had been in critical condition since last Friday when he was pulled from Tumon Bay.

There have been 4 water related deaths in in less than a week, including the 50 year old man who died after a large wave flipped his boat over outside the Hagatna Boat Basin last Friday. 2 others in the boat were rescued by a para-sailor.

All 4 deaths occurred while a High Surf Advisory was in effect.  That advisory expired at 6pm yesterday evening.

There have been 13 water related fatalities in the waters off Guam this year.

Water related fatalities in 2013

1. MONDAY, FEBRUARY 18: A 25-year old man was pronounced dead at Naval Hospital Monday night following a possible diving related drowning. Guam Fire Department Spokesman Lt. Ed Artero tells PNC that GFD received a report of an injured diver on Monday evening (February 18).  An ambulance arrived at the Agat Marina at 9:30pm and a boat arrived with the man on-board at 9:33pm.  According to Artero the man was unconscious and unresponsive at the scene.  CPR was conducted at the scene and he was taken to Naval Hospital.  Artero says the boat was a personal recreational boat and was not affiliated with any of the island's diving companies. Navy Spokesperson Coleen San Nicolas Perez says the man was pronounced dead at 10:25pm Monday.

2. MONDAY, APRIL 8th: 32 year old fisherman Menchi Rechim was pulled from the waters off Paseo De Susana Park. Officials say that Rechim had been snorkeling and spearfishing with several other fishermen when he was hit by a series of waves and swept off the reef.  He was pronounced dead at Naval Hospital. Medical Examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola ruled his death a drowning.

3. SATURDAY APRIL 13: 40 year old Nae Dok Kim, a Korean tourist. Medical Examiner Dr. Aurileo Espinola says that a shark attacked a Kim whose remains were found Sunday morning off Asan Beach. Dr. Espinola says that the man "was bitten by a shark and then drowned." He said the man's upper left arm and both legs were missing. Part of his intestines were also missing. Because there was evidence of bleeding, Dr. Espinola concludes that the man was alive when he was attacked by a shark. However he also concluded that the cause of death was drowning.

4. SUNDAY MAY 19: 56 year old Joseph Rojas was pulled from Pago Bay Sunday evening. Dr. Aurelio Espinola determined that the fisherman, died of asphyxiation due to drowning and there is no reason to suspect any foul play. Dr. Espinola performed an autopsy Monday afternoon. Sunday night, Guam Fire Spokesman Lt. Ed Artero said the body of the man was pulled from Pago Bay about 8pm.  Artero told PNC News that rescue personnel on jet skies found the man inside the Pago Bay reef.  A 911 call was made about 7pm reporting that the fisherman was missing.

5. WEDNESDAY JUNE 19: 22 year old Navy Diver 3rd Class Robert Dotzler of Kiel, Wisconsin. He was assigned to the submarine tender USS Frank Cable. He drowned while free diving during a dive operation at Alpha Pier on Navy Base Guam. Navy Officials say Dotzler was observing other divers from the water’s surface in a “snorkeling-like role”. When the other divers surfaced, they noticed Dotzler was missing and located him at the bottom of the harbor, unconscious. He was later pronounced dead at Naval Hospital Guam. A command investigation into his death determined that he died of accidental drowning while free diving.

6. TUESDAY JULY 16: An off-duty Guam Police Officer pulled the body of a 74 year old Japanese man from the waters of Tumon Bay Tuesday afternoon. GPD Spokesman Lt. Art Paulino reports that GPD Officer Ernest Quintanilla saw the man floating, motionless, about 80-yards from the beach behind the Hyatt Hotel. Officer Quintanilla swam out to the man. He reported that the victim was floating face-up and had no pulse. Foam was coming out of his mouth. Officer Quintanilla pulled the man to shore and contacted emergency personnel who took the man to GMH where he was pronounced dead. The autopsy on the 74 year old was performed Thursday and Dr. Espinola concluded that the man died from drowning. There was no other health condition that caused the man to drown. "His heart was good,"said Dr. Espinola.

7. WEDNESDAY JULY 17: Guam Police Spokesman Lt. Art Paulino reports that GPD is investigating the death of a 58 year old Japanese diver who was pulled unconscious from the water off  Orote Point at "The Crevice" Wednesday morning. Coast Guard Chief Brian Koji told PNC News that the they received a VHF call at 10:10am reporting an unconscious diver aboard the "Sea Fantasy." A response boat was launched, the unconscious diver was taken aboard. "He was not breathing at the time he was recovered," said Chief Koji.  CPR was performed on the man as he was transported to the Sumay Cove Marina where an ambulance then rushed him to Naval Hospital. Naval Hospital Spokeswoman Jennifer Zingalie says he was pronounced dead at 11:41am.  This was the second water related death in as many days. Tuesday, a 74 year old Japanese tourist was pulled from the waters off Tumon Bay by off duty GPD Officer Ernest Quintanilla.

8. FRIDAY NOVEMBER 15: Dr. Aurelio Espinola confirms that a female tourist pulled from the waters of Tumon Bay Friday November 15 has died. Guam Fire Spokesman Lt. Ed Artero reported that the woman was unresponsive and unconscious when she was pulled from the water behind the old Fujita Hotel.  CPR was performed on her as she was rushed to GMH where she later died. The woman's was in her early 20s. Her identify has not been released.

9. WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 20: According to GPD PIO Ed Artero three men went into the waters of Asan near the memorial park Wednesday night, Nov. 20, to go fishing. Artero says the waters started to get rough and one of the men was swept out over the reef. His two fishing partners were able to swim back to shore and call for help. Artero says the 911 call came in at 10:51pm Wednesday. Rescue crews were immediately dispatched. The U.S. Coast Guard also aided in the search. The man's lifeless body was recovered shortly after midnight. Artero says the victim is a 20 year old Chuukese male.

10.  FRIDAY DECEMBER 20: A 50 year old man was pulled from the waters off the Hagatna Boat Basin this morning was pronounced dead on arrival at Naval Hospital.He is the 10th water related death of the year on island. Guam Police Spokesman Officers A.J. Balajadia reports that the man was with 2 other men in a small fishing boat that was motoring out of the Boat Basin when the boat was struck by a large wave and capsized about 11am [ GFD Spokesman Lt. Ed Artero says the 911 call came in at 11:12am]. "Three male individuals were attempting to exit the mouth of the basin in a Livingston double hulled boat, when the boat was struck by a large wave," said Officer Balajadia. The wave caused  "the boat to be flipped backwards tossing all three occupants into the water," he said.  None of the 3 men had a life preserver on.

11. TUESDAY DECEMBER 24: A 67 year old Japanese tourist was pronounced dead at GMH.  He had been in critical condition since Friday, December 20th,  when he was pulled from Tumon Bay.

12. WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 25: 40 year old Edward Sotam was still alive when he was pulled from the water, he was taken first to GMH, CPR en-route, then he was later rushed to Naval Hospital where  he was pronounced dead on arrival at 5:22pm.

13.  WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 25: The body of 37 year old Katwin Dois pulled from the waters off the Jonestown cliff line. He was officially pronounced dead at GMH at 6:30pm.

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