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Two Montrealers drown in Cabarete, Dominican Republic

CABARETE, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC — The family of a Montreal businessman and his best friend say they known very little about how the two men drowned in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday.

Dominican media reports and friends identified the two men as Joe Valentino, 64, and Nick Carlucci, 63. The men, described by family as best friends, were staying at Hotel Magnifico in Cabarete, a town in the country’s Puerto Plata province known for its tourism and beaches. They left for the vacation on Nov. 10, said Valentino’s family.

A medical examiner determined drowning was the cause of death and their bodies were sent to a coroner in Santo Domingo, according to the local media outlet El Nacional.

Valentino’s daughter, Rosanna, told media Saturday that the bodies would be returned to Canada within days.

She said the family doesn’t have many details about what happened, but was told a woman saw the two men swimming in the ocean and called for help. The woman didn’t help them herself because she was afraid she too might drown. Rosanna Valentino said it appears that the two men were swimming in a dangerous area. Son Jason Valentino said the men weren’t known to be swimmers. “I guarantee my father would not have gone swimming,” he said. “Dad (Joe) was not a great swimmer… Nick was scared of swimming.”

A Dominican media outlet reported that a medical examiner has determined drowning to be the cause of death. Police told the family the waves were rather large at the time of the drownings.

Jason Valentino said he is going to visit Dominican next week; the family believes the pair was swept away into the water.

One Cabarete resident reported on a discussion forum that he had repeatedly urged authorities to replace the warning sign that had once been planted at that perilous area of the beach.

Rosana and Jason Valentino told CTV Montreal that despite media reports from a so-called longtime friend claiming that Carlucci got into difficulty while swimming in the ocean and Valentino went in to help, police have provided very little information on the deaths.

“We don’t now who tried to save who, but they were both heroes in our eyes,” said Jason Valentino.

The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed Saturday that Canadian officials had learned of the deaths.

Source: Canadian Press

Category: DR News |

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Last updated October 22, 2016 at 2:00 PM
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