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Mar 26, 2002

Two Dangriga men missing at sea

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Two young men from Dangriga tonight remain missing at sea. On Friday afternoon twenty-six year old Gerald Thomas Junior and his cousin, thirty-six year old Gregory Martinez, also known as Gregory Flores, were hired to transport several tourists from Dangriga to a resort on North East Caye in the remote Glover’s Reef Atoll. The group arrived at the caye late in the day and despite suggestions to stay overnight, the two men decided to make the return trip across the blue at sunset. Since then they have not been seen or heard from. With every passing hour, tension mounts. While the men did have life jackets onboard, they carried no food, water, radio or cell phone. So far, two scenarios as to what could have gone wrong have emerged. The men might have either lost their bearings while crossing the channel and ran out of gas, or experienced mechanical problems with their engines. The men are travelling in a twenty-five foot Mexican skiff painted red, white and blue named Jonathan, powered by two sixty horse power outboards. Given the strong northerly winds blowing on Friday night, it is now suspected that the pair have been pushed out into the deep, open waters of the Gulf of Honduras and may be drifting south toward the Honduran mainland. On Sunday, the owner of the Jonathan, Brenton Ritchie, joined members of the B.D.F. and police Maritime Wings to conduct searches in the area and those efforts have been supplemented by BATSUB. According to relatives of the missing men, the family is also organising their own search parties.

Bert Ramos, Relative of Missing Men

“They know the water a lot, they’ve been travelling up and down from the cayes and so I would suspect that they must have mechanical problems that cause them not to come in as yet. We have some boats that leave Dangriga this morning checking the different small islands, coming from where they went. And we’re also expecting to send out some aircraft tomorrow.”

If you have any information about Gerald Thomas or Gregory Flores, please contact family members at 02-74291 or 013-0035.

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