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Dec 11, 2013

Coast Guard widens search for missing fishermen

The search for four missing anglers, who disappeared while returning from a fishing expedition on Saturday, has expanded to southern waters.  Despite the discovery of the lifeless body of their colleague, forty-nine-year-old Thomas Young, they remain unaccounted for.  Twenty-six-year-old Derwin Gentle, twenty-four-year-old Elgin Graham, thirty-four-year-old Sergio Flores and twenty-six-year-old Kenrick Devin Chi are the subjects of a massive search and rescue operation that has seen the Belize National Coast Guard multiplying its efforts in the face of fears that they may have been abducted or killed by pirates on the open sea.  Young’s body was spotted by personnel from the Belize Ports Authority on Monday and later recovered by a coastguard quick response team.  According to Operations Officer Lieutenant Greg Soberanis, they are actively combing waters south of Dangriga.

 

Lt. Greg Soberanis, Operations Officer, BCNG

Lt. Greg Soberanis

“We still have four persons unaccounted for at this time.  We are currently conducting a joint investigation with the police.  We have our people as well as the police personnel out at sea conducting an investigation.  We definitely will make every endeavor to try and locate these four missing individuals.  So at this time the investigation is ongoing.  As soon as those members come back to headquarters we’ll see what information they can provide us and we’ll move on to the second phase of this operation.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“From a cursory look at the information that you guys have gathered so far into this investigation, does it seem to be an instance of piracy or something of the effect?”

 

Lt. Greg Soberanis

“Of late we have been receiving reports that the Alligator Caye area, all the way down south to the cayes in front of Dangriga have become hostile again.  This area is an area that, as the coastguard, we know needs to be patrolled frequently due to the piracy that occurs at those particular locations.  So for the past week or so we have been receiving reports of fishermen who have been approached by members of what they believe to be the criminal elements that have been hostile towards them.  So this is definitely an area where we want to increase our patrolling efforts and to ensure that the area is safe and secure for fisher folks who operate at that particular location.”

 

Up to news time this evening all efforts to locate the missing fishermen have proven futile.

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