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Family members mourn Haulover Inlet drowning victim, grateful for Good Samaritans who tried to save him

Family members grieve after man drowns in Haulover Inlet
Family members grieve after man drowns in Haulover Inlet

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A devastated family is grieving together after a man was caught in a current hear the Haulover Inlet and drowned.

Melchisedeck Fontilus was just a couple weeks shy of his 28th birthday. His family shared a picture taken moments before Fontilus tragically lost his life on Monday.

“That was my guy, I can’t even express the words of what he meant to me,” said Jean Fontilus, Milchisedeck’s bother.

Loved ones called him Mel.

The air traffic controller was out with friends on a boat near the Haulover Sandbar.

They jumped in the water and that’s when his friends say, it all happened so fast.

“He said I need help, we got down from the boat and the current just took him we all went to save him and it was taking all of us,” said Andrea Gaybor, Mel’s friend.

Good Samaritans, including a nurse, went into the water, helping get Mel out.

Paramedics rushing him and another friend to Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, but sadly it was too late for Mel.

Man drowns, another hospitalized after emergency in Haulover Inlet

“Talking to my mom, just hearing her emotions, I can’t even talk about it,” said Jean. “Just hearing her emotions and her crying and her telling me ‘oh, you’re my only boy I have left now,’ telling me to be safe, I can’t…I can’t even process that.”

Jean said that, at nearly 6-feet tall and over 200 lbs, Mel was his little-big brother, physically and figuratively.

“I told him all the time, ‘yo’ I’m trying to be like you,'” he said.

They were always best friends.

Jean says he’s forever grateful to those who tried to save his brother’s life.

“He did not know how to swim,” Jean said.

About the Author:

Christian De La Rosa joined Local 10 News in April 2017 after spending time as a reporter and anchor in Atlanta, San Diego, Orlando and Panama City Beach.