Passengers onboard the boat left Utila on Saturday, June 29, 2013, had originally planned to visit Water Cay, but chose to head to Roatan instead. The group arrived safely in Roatan, stopped in at “Foster’s”, and allegedly began their return trip to Utila. They have not arrived.
Two of the travellers had cell phones. They have not been in contact with friends or family, and their cell phones cannot be reached.
The families of the passengers aboard the boat missing between Utila and Roatan are in touch with each of the Bay Island authorities (Roatan and Utila), as well as those in La Ceiba. None of the group onboard are at any of the Roatan hospitals. The Honduran Navy is searching the ocean by boat. There has been, and continues to be extensive searches by plane. Families of the group aboard the missing boat have asked the US Embassy to request that Palmerola personnel perform an air search between Utila and Belize.
** UPDATE ** 4:20 pm, July 2, 2013: Congressman Romeo Silvestri on Roatan is in charge of the search as of today. A missing persons police report was filed on Monday; police in both locals are investigating the disappearances.
The boat is a 26 ft white speed boat with a 100 horse power outboard engine / center console with a black hull that now appears as if it were gray due to aging.
Listed aboard the boat were five Honduran citizens, two American citizens, and one Canadian citizen.
Honduran citizens on board
Luis Gustavo Paz -“Tabo” (23)
Gary Zelaya (22)
Annie Miralda (28)
Alexandra Bodden – “Alex” (16)
Adán Centeno (19)
American citizens on board
Leon Martin Coello Buckley (18)
Amber Marie Burkelt (16)
Canadian citizen on board
Tasha Brown – “Taz” (20)
Honduran citizens and foreigners are asked to please report any relevant information or sightings to the authorities. As of 11:00 AM Tuesday July 2, 2013 there has been no sign of the missing vessel or those on board.
Tue 2-Jul-2013 – A.M. – Romeo Silvestri, Bay Islands Congressman, takes on responsibility for search in conjunction with COPECO (Honduras equivalent of US FEMA) and US Embassy in Tegucigalpa. US Miami Coastguard also involved – http://www.uscgnews.com/go/
Roatán based search includes 20 miles east and north-east including Guanaja.
Tue 2-Jul-02013 – P.M. Reports of another ‘missing boat’ Gypsy Moth from Utila to Roatán with Alton’s Dive Shop passengers. Concern that this boat is also involved in incident. (Refer http://www.hondurasnews.com/
Current US NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) data and Utila Local Fisherman anecdotes indicate a drifting boat from Roatán-Utila would end up in Belize and Belize Cays. Hopes remain high that boat will be found in Belize and that weather conditions (rain & moderate seas) will favor survivors.
Utila Fund Raising efforts to support the search and rescue operations as well as appeal for responsible public social media coverage with the father of Leon Martin Coello Buckley – (Facebook Video by HQTV Utila)