By Jim Armstrong, WBZ-TV

MANSFIELD (CBS) – Campus police knocked on Brent Doherty’s Clemson University dorm room door to tell him the terrible news. His mom, 54 year old Gail Binmore, was dead.

Donna Batta (L) and Gail Binmore (R) died while on vacation in Cancun

Donna Batta (L) and Gail Binmore (R) died while on vacation in Cancun

“There’s no rhyme or reason,” explained the 19-year-old. “There’s no lead-up or any signs of it coming, so that’s been the hardest part about it, just the shock of what happened.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports

Binmore was with three of her lifelong girlfriends, enjoying a wonderful vacation week at a Cancun resort.

Three of the women went into shallow ocean waters around 10:00 Tuesday night.

“They were hit with what they call a rogue wave,” says Binmore’s ex-husband Joe Doherty.

Gail, and her good friend Donna Batta, were swept out to sea. as their third friend watched in horror.

“She could see them, she could see the smile on Gail’s face and then it just happened,” Joe Doherty explains. “She described it as they were there and she could see them, and then they were gone.”

Batta’s husband Jeff says he was also told the women were pulled out to sea with no warning at all as they walked along shallow seas near their resort.

“It’s just unthinkable that this happened,” Batta says. “She’s been around the edge of water hundreds of times, countless times in her life and i just can’t imagine how it happened.”