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Mar 28, 2002

U.S. sailor missing at sea

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Yesterday we reported on the happy ending to the harrowing ordeal of two men from Dangriga who spent four days lost at sea. Tonight we have news of another missing seaman–but the circumstances leave much less room for optimism. Forty-four year old U.S. National Robert O’Neil left Hopkins Village on March sixth in his thirty-five foot sailboat “Wanderer”, headed for Guatemala. On March twenty-third, “Wanderer” was discovered near Frenchman’s Caye, about ten miles north-east of Punta Gorda…with no one on board. So what happened to O’Neil? The fact that police found all of his passport, a radio, cell phone and a small personal stash of weed on the boat, seems to rule out piracy. One possibility is that O’Neil fell overboard or perhaps suffered a heart attack while on deck or swimming. A friend told police that he had been complaining of chest pains and was a heavy drinker. Robert O’Neil had been living in Hopkins for the last six months.

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