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Nov 27, 2019

No Signs of Missing Fishermen Presumed Killed at Sea

The search for three Belize City youths who set out to sea last Friday has since become a recovery operation as personnel from the Belize Coast Guard are now focused on finding the bodies of Sheldon Gibson, Elijah Usher Jr. and fourteen-year-old Kevin Roches.  The trio left en route to Mapp Caye on November twenty-second and has not been seen or heard from since.  Despite a massive search and rescue effort in the days following their disappearance, all attempts to locate the fishermen or their vessel, an eighteen-foot skiff called the Loriannie, have been futile.  This morning, Commander Elton Bennett provided a brief update and says that the team is now concentrating on a particular area in the vicinity of the island to try and recover the bodies.

 

Elton Bennett

Capt. Elton Bennett, Commandant, Belize Coast Guard

“We continue to search units concentrating in the same search area that we were searching in for the past forty-eight hours and the reason being the possibility of them being submerged over the past two days and hopefully, [if they are] cases of drowning or any other criminal act, bodies will be floating in the same area.  So we are out in the area and we are looking at this stage for persons in the water. At this stage it’s not a rescue effort, we’re going into a recovery mode and the approach to recovery is a little bit different from the rescue operation because we’re looking for a slower drift.  The search units move a little bit slower and the search area is a little more concentrated and the equipment onboard is different from a rescue operation, so we’re in recovery mode at this stage.

 

Reporter

“Sir, along those same lines, the boat for Mr. Evan Neal was found, I believe yesterday, are you guys continuing that search along those lines in that area, maybe?”

 

Capt. Elton Bennett

“That case is still open, it was suspended and suspended means that we wait for any additional information to open back the case or to continue the case and in this case yesterday we were able to recover that vessel.  And it’s in the same area, the same Mapp Caye and Drowned Caye area, so we are looking for Mr. Evans as well.”


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