View Full Version : Two die in island's waters

01-03-2009, 10:09 PM
By Dionesis Tamondong • Pacific Sunday News • January 4, 2009

A tourist drowned in a Tumon hotel pool and the body of a Mangilao man was pulled from a southern beach yesterday. Meanwhile, lifeguards rescued a man at a Tumon beach.

A 21-year-old man drowned at the pool of the Grand Plaza Hotel late yesterday afternoon, said Guam Fire Department acting spokesman Capt. Joseph Flores.

The fire department received a call from the Tumon hotel about 5 p.m. When medics arrived, they found a man who was unresponsive in the pool area. He was taken to Guam Memorial Hospital as medics continued to try to revive him.

Flores said the man was probably a tourist but couldn't confirm his identity.

GMH nursing supervisor Julietta Quinene said the man's friends said he was from Saipan. She would not release his name.

"I've spoken to the parents and asked them to come here as soon as possible," she said.

The man was brought in about 5:30 p.m. and pronounced dead at 5:50 p.m. The autopsy is pending.

Early yesterday morning, the body of a 50-year-old man, identified as Department of Parks and Recreation Deputy Director Gregory Matanane, was pulled from the waters off a private beach in Talofofo.

An autopsy, which has yet to be scheduled, will determine whether Matanane drowned or died of a heart attack, said his son Greg Matanane Jr.

If his death is ruled a drowning, it will be the first for the new year and the tourist's death will mark the second. The family was camping at the beach Friday night, Matanane Jr. said. His father was fishing with other family members when he suffered a heart attack while in the waters.

The Guam Fire Department received a 911 call at 1 a.m. Units from Talofofo, Inarajan, Tiyan and Agat arrived around 1:20 a.m. at Calvo Beach Road, located near Ipan Beach Park, said Flores.

Search-and-rescue personnel on personal watercraft found Matanane within the reef, Flores said, adding he was unconscious and unresponsive. Medics took Matanane to Naval Hospital while still trying to revive him.

Parks Director Joe Duenas said Matanane accomplished a lot for the Parks department while working his way up the ranks.

"His death is a huge loss for the department," Duenas said. "Our condolences go out to his family."

Gov. Felix Camacho appointed Matanane to the position of Parks and Rec deputy director in 2004.

"Greg was a dedicated public servant who committed his life to his faith, his family and the people of Guam. He will be greatly missed," Camacho said in a written statement. "The Camacho-Cruz administration, all of Greg's fellow Cabinet members and our government employees, join the people of Guam in sending our thoughts and prayers to Greg's family and friends during this difficult time."

Matanane Jr. said his father worked at the Parks department for about three decades. At home, his father helped keep the family together.

"He was a great father to all of us," Matanane Jr. said. "It didn't matter what kind of problem we faced. He always found a way to solve it."

Matanane, of Mangilao, is survived by his wife, four children and three grandchildren.

As of yesterday, the family was still planning rosary prayers.

At Matapang Beach yesterday, two Parks and Rec lifeguards rescued a 47-year-old man from drowning, according to a news release from the department.

Head Lifeguard Allen Ignacio and Lifeguard Specialist Joachim Santos helped a man who was struggling in the water when his calf muscles cramped. The lifeguards responded after the man yelled for help.

Residents planning to swim, fish or conduct other recreational activities in Guam's waters must be careful this weekend.

The National Weather Service has issued a high surf advisory for Guam and Rota, starting last night through Wednesday.

A cold front that moved off Japan is swooping through the Northern Marianas, creating large north swells that will move through the Marianas over the next several days, according to the weather service.

Hazardous surf of 8 to 13 feet can be expected, producing dangerous rip currents.