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Recruit drowns during test

KINGSTON — A Jamaica Defence Force recruit drowned while participating in a swim test at the Jamaica Coast Guard base in Port Royal, Kingston, yesterday.

According to the JDF Civil/Military Co-operation Officer, Captain Basil Jarrett, the recruit, 27-year-old Keon Salmon, got into difficulties after entering the water about 9:45 a.m.

Salmon, a member of the 3JR National Reserves, was among a group of recruits being evaluated, Jarrett disclosed.

“He went into the water and did not come back up. Divers and lifeguards immediately went in and pulled him out, but when he came out it was discovered that he had no pulse and that he was not breathing,” he told the Jamaica Observer, noting that the response team, including a medical doctor, tried to revive Salmon to no avail.

Salmon was then flown to the University Hospital of the West Indies where he was pronounced dead, Jarrett said.

He said a JDF team, including the military’s chaplain, visited Salmon’s relatives in Clarendon yesterday to offer support.

He said investigations are also being conducted by the JDF, as well as the Jamaica Constabulary Force, to ascertain exactly what happened.

“Our investigations are in earnest and we have also contacted the police who will be doing their own investigation,” said Jarrett.

“As soon as the investigations are completed we will provide a full report as to what happened. That is the latest at this point,” he told the Observer.

In the meantime, Jarrett said that the other recruits were deeply shaken by the incident. (Observer)

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