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Tuesday, September 26, 2023


Jan. 19, 2004 – A Virgin Islands Port Authority police officer drowned Sunday afternoon while swimming in the waters off Lindqvist beach on the East End.
Sgt. Thomas Hannah, Virgin Islands Police Department spokesman, said efforts to revive Duane Norford failed after he was pulled from the water around 3:15 p.m. Norford, 26, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Norford had come to VIPA from the Virgin Islands Housing Authority, where he had served on the Housing Police force.
As word of Norford's death spread at Cyril E. King Airport on Sunday afternoon, fellow employees at the Port Authority expressed sadness. Some cried openly. One unidentified employee fought back tears as she recalled Norford as pleasant and well-mannered. "He was one of us; how could this have happened?" she asked. Airline employees who interacted with Norford regularly recalled his positive outlook on life and his willingness to assist anyone. "We are really going to miss Duane," one said.
Hannah could not confirm reports that Norford was swimming on the far end of Lindqvist Beach when he began to feel ill. Sources had said Sunday that Norford, after becoming ill while in the water, was unable to make it to shore.
Hannah said that adding to the tragic incident, Norford’s mother was "present at the beach and witnessed the loss of her son."

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