Vail Realtor Doug Ketchum dies while surfing in Mexico |

Vail Realtor Doug Ketchum dies while surfing in Mexico

Doug Ketchum, a broker with Prudential Colorado Properties in Vail, died in a hurricane in Mexico Wednesday while surfing.
Kristy Watts |

OAXACA, Mexico – A Vail man was one of two people killed when Hurricane Barbara hit Mexico’s southern Pacific coast on Wednesday.

Prudential Colorado Properties realtor Doug Ketchum died in a surfing accident around the time Barbara made landfall.

Colleagues of his at Prudential said he was attending a surf camp at the time.

The director of civil defense for Oaxaca state, Manuel Maza Sanchez, told the Associated Press that Ketchum died while surfing at Playa Azul, a beach near the sparsely populated resort town of Puerto Escondido.

Barbara made landfall mid-afternoon as a Category 1 hurricane about 120 miles (200 kilometers) to the east. Barbara made the second-earliest landfall since reliable record-keeping began in 1966, then quickly lost strength.

Ketchum grew up in the shadow of Cape Canaveral on the east coast beaches of central Florida.

“You have to abandon your personal comfort zones to experience growth, and traveling is critical to that process,” Ketchum wrote in his Prudential biography.

His travels took him wonderful places. He surfed in Puerto Rico, Hawaii and a half dozen other countries, skied from the summit of 14,000-foot peaks and mountain biked in Mexico and Ecuador. He was part of an expedition kayak trip from mountain headwaters to the Pacific, visited 20 Caribbean islands and many other countries.

“Among my goals is to become wealthy in ways that don’t necessarily count at the bank,” Ketchum wrote in his biography.

He wrote was grateful for the mentors he’s had along the way, with a special nod to a real estate licensing instructor.

“He showed me that it’s more than just a way to make a living; you could be professional, honest, ethical, service oriented, have fun and love what you do,” Ketchum wrote. “The real estate business is not about dirt, bricks and mortar; first and foremost it’s a people business and to be successful you can never lose sight of their goals.”

Maza Sanchez also said a 26-year-old Mexican man drowned in the nearby city of Pinotepa Nacional while trying to cross a creek.

To the nearby east, 14 fishermen who set out to sea Wednesday morning in the town of Tapanatepec, Oaxaca, have been reported missing, Maza Sanchez said.

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