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Dec 27, 2013

57 year old U.S. national goes missing while snorkeling in Belize

Elton Bennett

A U.S. national has been missing at sea since Monday and tonight, the Belize National Coast Guard has called off search and rescue efforts. Fifty-seven year old Dieter Kruger and his family were in the country on vacation in the south and on Monday, Kruger and his son were out swimming and snorkeling near the area of the north east caye of Glover’s Reef. According to the son, he lost track of his father a while after and despite a search done in the area, Kruger was nowhere to be found. The Coast Guard was called out late Monday evening and after extensive search in the area, the worse is feared. Vice Commandant of the Belize Coast Guard, Commander Elton Bennett, says that it is believed that Kruger is dead and his body has drifted through the nearby channel.

 

Commander Elton Bennett, Vice-Commandant, Belize Coast Guard

“Mister Dieter Kruger, a seventy-three year old U.S. national apparently went missing out at Glover’s Reef. We received the information on Monday around four o’clock p.m. that he went swimming in the area of northeast caye Glover’s Reef. His son was out there with him and after his son lost sight of him, he went back to one of the islands to get assistance and they started the search. When the search was unsuccessful, they decided to call in the coast guard and we started to search on Tuesday. We did a full search in the area along with fisheries department as well as some of the other vessel from the resort out there is Glover’s Reef. After three days, we have found nothing, no signs of him. all indications are that he probably got washed out through the channel, drifted through the channel. So being outside of the reef makes it more difficult to survive and also to locate a body outside of the reef. So our search case has now been suspended; however, if there is any indication of him being still alive, we will commence the search again.”

 

Reporter

“What is the son saying so far?”

 

Commander Elton Bennett

“The son is saying that he was with him and his father went out swimming. And that he was in the water along with his father for a while and could not keep up with his father and decided to go back and then that was when he lost sight of his father.”

 

Reporter

“I know you said that how it is possible that he was washed out through the channel. What are the possibilities that he is still alive given that it is three days that he has been out there in the water?”

 

Commander Elton Bennett

“He could survive probably up to three to five days depending on the condition and his will to survive. But considering that we have done a thorough search in the area—it is not a difficult area to search. Glover’s Reef inside and outside is not too difficult to search so we believe that we have covered all possible locations of where he could be. At least during our search, he was not on the surface of the area that we’ve searched.”

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