Friday, December 23 2011 @ 02:19 pm EST
Contributed by: Don Winner
Living and Working in Panama: James Budd was working for an Australian couple who own a restaurant on Isla Bastimentos, and these are the people who filed the missing person report. Initial reports as they appeared in the local press seemed to indicate James Budd was in a small boat and drinking with these two other people when he suddenly decided to throw himself into the water or something. Here's the report as it appeared in the Siglo yesterday:
- "The American James Budd, 33, drowned early Tuesday when he threw himself into the waters of the Caribbean Sea on Isla Colon, Bocas del Toro. Budd left on a boat carrying tourists in the company of two Australians and he decided to take a dip in front of Isla Bastimentos. But as time passed and Budd did not return, so his friends, in desperation, began the search. Not finding him, the Australians decided, 13 hours after the accident, to notify the authorities. The tragedy occurred at 1:30 am. After several hours of searching, the staff of the National System of Civil Protection was informed of the discovery of the body. Some fishermen found Budd's floating body.
Mostly Wrong: It now appears that information is at least partially incorrect. James Budd was reportedly traveling in his small dinghy to reach his sailboat the "Seahorse" which was anchored nearby - Budd lived on his sailboat. Apparently he fell into the water at approximately 1:30 am while traveling from the island to his boat in his dinghy. The part about him drinking before setting off in the dinghy was probably accurate. In any case, the restaurant owners filed the report with the National Civil Protection Service the next morning after they spotted his dinghy drifting in the water. Then some local fishermen spotted Budd's body floating in the water on Wednesday morning, and they alerted the SINAPROC, police, and SENAN, who recovered the body.
Official Investigation Started: The local prosecutor's office has started an official investigation into this case, as is standard procedure anytime someone loses their life in this manner. All indications are this was an accidental drowning, and the investigators of the prosecutor's office and the police detectives from the Department of Judicial Investigation (DIJ) will conduct interviews and verify the information to confirm.
Fill In The Blanks: If I got any of this wrong, or if you have any additional information, please feel free to contact me via cell phone at 6614-0451 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, confidentiality respected if requested. I just want to get the whole story, and get it right. Thanks.
Copyright 2011 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.