UPDATE: Newfoundland businessman dies in Dominican Republic while on vacation

Published on April 10, 2013

 A little town on Newfoundland’s east coast is grieving after a well-known businessman and volunteer died while vacationing in the Dominican Republic.

A family member said Derrick Hayley of Bonavista was pulled from the waters of the Punta Cana region in the Dominican on Monday after an incident involving a boat while he was snorkelling.

Hayley’s brother-in-law, Tim Goyetche, said the 46-year-old man had been on holiday at the Majestic Colonial resort with his wife, one of his three sons and several friends.

“Even though the cause of death seems apparent, until the police investigation and autopsy is completed, I can only state that there was an incident in the water while Derrick was snorkelling involving a boat Monday evening,” Goyetche read from a prepared statement.

“Although many tourists who were doctors valiantly attempted to save him, he did pass away.”

Goyetche said no other details are being released at this time.

In Bonavista, a tight-knit community of 4,000 people, there has been an outpouring of support, he added.

“It is quite apparent that he was loved and respected by all.”

Hayley owned a local construction company and a garage and was a busy volunteer in minor hockey, said Bonavista Mayor Betty Fitzgerald.

The annual Fireman’s Ball, planned for this Saturday, has been cancelled, she said. One of Hayley’s sons is a volunteer firefighter.

“No one expected this,” Fitzgerald said of a community that has reacted with shocked disbelief at the news.

“They went on holiday, and he’s coming back now in a coffin. It’s hard for us, it’s hard for his family.”

Goyetche said Hayley’s body was being flown back to Newfoundland late Wednesday, accompanied by his wife.

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Earlier story

The Canadian Press — Bonavista

A family member of a man from Newfoundland says his brother-in-law has died while vacationing in the Dominican Republic.

Tim Goyetche says Derrick Hayley was pulled from the waters of the Punta Cana region in the Dominican on Monday after an incident involving a boat while he was snorkelling.

He says Hayley, who was a businessman in the community of Bonavista on Newfoundland’s east coast, had been vacationing with his wife, one of his three sons and several friends.

Goyetche says no other details are being released until an investigation and autopsy are complete.

He says other tourists at the Majestic Colonial resort who were doctors tried to save the 46-year-old man’s life at the scene.

He says Hayley owned a construction company and a garage in Bonavista and was a well loved volunteer who was active in minor hockey.

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Earlier story

A Bonavista man in his late 40s has died in Punta Cana, in the Dominican Republic, while snorkeling with family and friends who were vacationing there.

The tragedy has shocked the town.

The man, whose name has not been released, was staying at the Majestic Elegance resort.