Cancun Vacation Turns Tragic for Mass. Families

(NECN: Josh Brogadir, Mansfield, Mass.) - A Cancun vacation for two Mansfield, Mass. women ended tragically when they were swept away by rough waters.

People here in Mansfield were hurting Wednesday.

There doesn't appear to be any foul play, and it seems to be a tragic accident, one that happened on a beach thousands of miles from home.

"It was what they call a rogue wave, where the strongest swimmer in the world if they're behind it and they don't see it will get pulled," said Joe Doherty, the ex-husband of Gail Binmore of Mansfield, Mass.

Binmore had a timeshare in Cancun at the Grand Park Royal Hotel, and she invited some friends to come down and spend a few days.

Late Tuesday night, Gail and her friend Donna Batta, also of Mansfield, went knee deep into the water, according to hotel officials.

A third friend from Massachusetts was with them, and that was the last time she saw them.

They were swept out into the ocean by a strong current.

"It's just an incredibly tragic accident that no one could foresee and my son is just tough," said Joe Doherty. He and Gail divorced years ago, but have remained close.

Their son, 19-year-old Brent Doherty, was the first to learn what happened to his mother.

"I was actually woken up in the middle of the night by a police officer who unfortunately informed me about what had happened, and I was actually the one who had to inform my father so it was pretty tough, a tough day yesterday, a tough day for me," Brent Doherty said.

Donna Batta leaves behind a husband, Jeff, who told NECN they have three children ages 16, 20 and 24.

Gail Binmore worked in the software business, and was in Cancun with her son Brent and daughter Cassidy when this picture was taken a couple of years ago.

They are times this family will treasure.

"She was always there for me, she was really independent. She worked and took care of me financially and emotionally, she was always there for me and telling me everything is going to be alright so I know that she's up there looking down on us and telling us everything is going to be alright," Brent said.

The hotel manager says that Tuesday night, the seas were rough due to a cold front from the north.

Both women's bodies were found that night. They will be flown back home to Massachusetts.

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