Three Vacationers Drown at Beach, Girls Rescued

Americans were vacationing in Turks and Caicos
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2019 4:44 PM CDT

(Newser) – Three vacationing adults from the Houston area drowned off a beach in Turks and Caicos, while two children with them were rescued. The group, which included members of two families, was caught in a fast-moving tide Monday at Bambarra Beach on the island of Middle Caicos, officials in the British territory said. Residents joined the search for them, CNN reports. "We came together as a community and we tried our best," an official who joined the search said. The drownings have prompted calls to put up more warning signs on the beaches, per the AFP.

Family and friends said the victims were Richard Okoloise, an emergency physician; Irma Barrera, 33, a nurse, and Roy Perez, 38, Barrera's partner, per NBC. One of the girls who was rescued was the daughter of Barrera and Perez; the other was related to Okoloise. They were being cared for by local social services. "All of us are asking every question we can about what went wrong," the police commissioner said. (Read more Turks and Caicos Islands stories.)

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