7 News Belize

The Reggae Bus Ran A Rescue Service
posted (January 11, 2018)
In our last segment you heard city councillor Phillip Willoughby speaking about the rush of residents form the Jane Usher and Caesar Ridge area running to shelters after the warning went out.

And, in the height of that scare, a unique thing happened: this often fractured community came together very suddenly with many stepping up to give rides and even opening their second - story homes to those running for shelter.

We spoke to one of those unlikely good Samritans off camera today. He told us how his bus that is used to run daily commutes turned into a rescue ride for many.

Sahar Vasquez reporting Windell Lemoth had no idea of the imminent danger Belize was in on Tuesday night. He felt the ground shaking tremor but he didn't find out about the tsunami until he left his house and saw the chaos of the city.

Sahar Vasquez, reporter
"So tell me about the tsunami warning. You were at home when you heard about it?"

Voice of: Windell Lemoth, Owner of Lemoth Bus Service
"Well that night I was on my verandah at Belama sitting down, you know socializing and I felt the tremor. I was wondering if I was the only one that was feeling the tremor so after I came down to Belize City to deal with some business and on my way down I saw people in a panic running around with their mattress trying to get to safety. I stopped at the police checkpoint and they informed that there was a tsunami warning."

After hearing the alarming news, he immediately went to check on his family members in the Port Loyola area. After ensuring their safety he headed back up to Belama to be with his daughter and girlfriend, but before he could reach he was flagged down by people in need and made a heroic decision to be of assistance.

Voice of: Windell Lemoth
"On my way to Belama I was stopped by the Jane Usher residents who informed me that some of my regular customers were trapped in the area and needed to come out. I had to make a judgement call to go and get those people from there."

Lemoth's service was not limited just to the residents of Jane Usher. He took anyone in need of rescue.

Voice of: Windell Lemoth
"We took anyone who wanted to come. In the area, we were just driving through looking for the particular person. We did not see her so we gave a ride to people who also needed the assistance. We rounded them up and took them to the shelter. Anyone who we saw on the roadway and asked them if they wanted to go. If they wanted they came in and if not they found their own means of transportation. We did our part and from there I went to check up on my family."

"Well they were requesting to go to St. John Viannie so that is where we took them."

Lemoth has seen the devastation a tsunami can bring so for him this was not heroism - but humanism:

Voice of: Windell Lemoth
"It was just life comes before anything else."

Voice of: Windell Lemoth
"That is the priority. It should always be to save as many people as we can."

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