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Bus owner Rudy Morales’ body found 24 hours after disappearing under water at the mouth of the New River

The body of Rudy Morales has been found late this evening. Morales, the proprietor of Morales Bus Line had joined his cousin Miguel Rubio on a fishing trip on Monday afternoon as they do on a regular basis. This time they were joined for the first time by three others, including a fifteen year old boy. The group left in a boat but the trip soon turned into a nightmare when the vessel sank. Four of the men made it to safety but Morales didn’t.  A search party was led by the Belize Coast Guard.  Dalila Ical travelled to Corozal Bay and returned with the following report.

Dalilah Ical:  Shortly after one o’clock this afternoon the Belize Coast Guard personnel arrived at the pier along the Corozal Bay for a scheduled change in shift. The new team would also continue the search for Rudy Morales who went missing at the mouth of the New River. The search began on Tuesday night shortly before nine o’clock when Coast Guard stationed at the Corozal Bay were alerted of a vessel capsizing. That vessel was the Lone Star in which Rudy Morales and his cousin 35 year old Miguel Riobo had taken on a fishing trip. They were joined by 28 year old Nilvert Patt, 30 year old Fermin Reyes and 15 year old Lenardo Aldana.Riobo who survived the ordeal was part of the search party. He spoke with us but prefered to comment off camera. He said the group left around three thirty in the afternoon. They were fishing along the river and eventually headed to the mouth of the river around five pm. There they stopped and turned the boat around. They were about to continue fishing when strong waves began hitting the small boat filling it with water. The sea had become rough and the group decided it was best to retreat to the river bank but by the time they had made up their minds Riobo said the water overpowered the small boat. He said it happened in a matter of about ten seconds. Four of them jumped into the water and swam towards the mangroves, Morales stayed in the boat until it sank. Riobo said the swim was not easy and that he had to remove his jeans and shoes underwater to remain afloat. When he was able to touch the river bottom he turned to check on the rest of the group. The fifteen year old says was calling out for help and was going under. Riobo said he saw a gallon in the water and threw it to the minor who clutched onto it. He then saw Morales swimming with difficulty towards him. He was about to go back to aid him when he saw Morales disappear under water several feet away. Four of them made it to shore safely. Riobo said they waited about half an hour for a sign of Morales but he never resurfaced. Nilvert Pat, Morales’ cousin gave a brief statement on what happened.

Nilvert Pat, Cousin: “It really happened at about five sharp. We got to the river mouth, we were there for less than five minutes when the boat sank. It was about thirty five yards. When we saw the water coming into the boat we just threw ourselves because we all got frightened so we just

swam to the side.

Daliah Ical: “Riobo said they would go fishing once a week and it was not the first time they used the ‘Lone Star’.”

In addition to the minor, the survivors include 35 year old Miguel Rubio, 28 year old Nilvert Patt, and 30 year old Fermin Reyes. As we reported earlier, Morales’ body was found just before news time tonight.