Birthday celebration turns tragic

Birthday celebration turns tragic
Vaughn Khodra at a funeral months ago.
Vaughn Khodra at a funeral months ago.

What started out as a birthday party on the beach ended up in tragedy.

Thirty-year-old Vaughn Khodra of Forestiere, Castries and his family were celebrating his mother’s 61st birth anniversary on the Pigeon Island beach when he decided to go snorkeling.

Ten to 15 minutes later, Vaughn was nowhere to be seen. Relatives became worried and went into the water to locate him, however they came up empty-handed.

Vaughn was said to be snorkeling close by. When the family realised that something was amiss, they contacted the police.

“When we weren’t seeing him we didn’t take it too serious at first because we know it’s his habit of going really far because he can swim and dive. But it is afterwards when we didn’t see him signal us then we call for the police and marine,” Vaughn’s sister Erslyn Khodra told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) today.

When the Marine Unit arrived on the beach, a search was carried out. Even persons who were snorkeling assisted the unit in the search. Once the place started to get dark, the unit called off the search. However Erslyn said there was one man who had a kayak, who kept looking. Within a few minutes, the same same was able to locate Vaughn’s body.

“Apparently he didn’t drown because his stomach was really flat but when we got him he was foaming through his mouth and had the goggles on. It took close to three hours to locate him,” Erslyn told SNO.

She did admit to him consuming alcohol before going into the water but said: “It was nothing over the limit. He was okay because I last spoke to him before he went into the water when he asked me to get his goggles.”

Asked about how she feels about her brother’s loss, she said, “It’s like half of my body gone. Honestly words cannot express the way I feel right now. We were really close, we would go out together. When he is off he would call me and we would go in town and take a lime. If I am broke I check him and he gives me money, if he broke I lend him money. That is how close we were.”

Erslyn said it will take a very long time for the family to move on without him. He was living with and taking care of his mother.

He leaves to mourn his mother, sister and other relatives.

A post mortem examination will be performed on the body today.


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  1. So sad. Celebrating with his mom one minute and the other she is mourning his lost. Such a heartache. Rip. God pls give his family all the comfort the need right now


  2. My heart goes out to the family he was a quiet young man but guys pls stop drinking n going into the waters it has no branches


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