View Full Version : Family remembers fisherman

02-11-2010, 10:24 PM

By Amritha Alladi Pacific Daily News February 11, 2010

The spearfisherman whose body was found fraught with shark bites on Friday was a knowledgeable fisherman and avid surfer, his uncle Melvin Duenas said yesterday.

Andrew Duenas, 31, had been a full-time fisherman for the last 10 to 12 years, Melvin Deunas said. In fact, it was Melvin Duenas who taught his nephew how to swim, and Andrew Duenas knew the ins and outs of the reef, according to his uncle.

"We know the beach. This is family property not too far from Achang Bay Federal Preserve area, where the body was actually found," he said.

On Tuesday, the Pacific Daily News reported Department of Agriculture fisheries biologist Brent Tibbatts and Guam Memorial Hospital Medical Examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola had agreed that while the body revealed shark bites, the cause of death was probably not a shark attack.

Melvin Duenas, who is conducting the funeral services for his nephew, feels otherwise.

"The head was gone, the two hands (were) gone, the chest up was gone and only one leg," he said. "The body remains (were) just one leg portion," he said.

The family identified his nephew by his shirt, shorts and belt, he said.

Rescue teams also found a 12- to 15-foot tiger shark circling the boat when they discovered the body, according to Melvin Duenas.
He believes his nephew's death was caused by a shark attack, as the area has recently seen a surge in white-tip and tiger shark populations, hesaid.

"This federal reserve area is full of fish. Wherever there's lots of fish, it also invites lots of carnivores," Melvin Duenas said. "This is like a nice box for fish."

Plus, a case like his nephew's was reported just a year earlier, Melvin Deunas said.

"His best fishing buddy friend was found, only his shorts and shirt ... no body parts at all, in the same area where (Andrew Duenas was found)," he said.

And "challenging" Mother Nature, as Inarajan Mayor Franklin Taitague had suggested, was probably not the case either, he said. Andrew Duenas was a water sports aficianado and God-fearing man.

Furthermore, Andrew Duenas, a former logistics specialist and sergeant in the Army, was known to be meticulous in his preparation and planning, according to his uncle. In just the last few days, when Melvin Deunas inhabited Andrew's room to provide comfort to the family, Melvin Duenas noticed his nephew's closet was neatly organized by type of clothing, the uncle said.

He was also a religious man. Melvin Duenas said he found a Bible tabbed with important passages in Andrew Duenas' room, with Psalm 23 particularly marked up. Melvin Duenas said the significance of the passage, which reads, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil," is symbolic to his nephew's death, as he died doing what he loved.
"Although family will miss him, he passed away in the water he loves," Melvin Duenas said.