Three American tourists drown in Turks and Caicos, two girls rescued from water

The victims, a doctor and a couple in their 30s, were all from the Houston area.

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By Elisha Fieldstadt

Three American adults drowned and two children were rescued from the water while vacationing in Turks and Caicos, island police said.

All three of the victims, whose bodies were recovered from the waters of Bambarra Beach in Middle Caicos, were from the Houston area, according to NBC affiliate KPRC in Houston.

They were identified by family and friends as Richard Okoloise, an emergency physician, and Irma Barrera, 33, a nurse, and her partner, Roy Perez, 38.

The bodies of two of them were found Monday and the third was recovered Tuesday, authorities said. Okoloise was related to one of the girls who was rescued, while the couple was related to the other girl, the Turks and Caicos police said on Facebook.

“Yesterday the Turks and Caicos suffered a very human and terrible tragedy when five tourists from two families got into difficulties in the waters off Middle Caicos," Turks and Caicos Commissioner of Police Trevor Botting said in a statement on Facebook on Tuesday.

"This was a tragic loss of life and obviously all of us are asking every question we can about what went wrong. Our thoughts and our prayers go out to everyone, most especially the children involved," Botting said.

A friend of Okoloise told KPRC that he loved to travel, and had recently taken a mission trip to Guatemala.