Sarm Heslop: Police uncertain woman was onboard Caribbean yacht

  • Published
Sarm HeslopImage source, @MissingSarmHeslop
Image caption,
Sarm Heslop's friends have said she had been staying aboard Siren Song, off the coast of the island of St John, for a couple of weeks

Police have said they are unsure if a British woman reported missing from a yacht in the Caribbean was onboard.

Sarm Heslop, 41, from Southampton, had been staying with her boyfriend, US citizen Ryan Bane, on the boat moored off St John in the US Virgin Islands.

Mr Bane reported her missing from the boat at 02:30 local time on 8 March.

Virgin Islands Police Department said: "Investigators cannot confirm with certainty, if and when Ms Heslop boarded the Siren Song on March 7."

Image source, Google
Image caption,
Searches around the coast of St John in the US Virgin Islands have been taking place since she vanished

Miss Heslop, a former flight attendant, is known to have gone for dinner with Mr Bane on Sunday, 7 March in St John.

It was understood she had returned to the yacht and gone to bed.

Her possessions, including her bank cards and mobile phone, were still onboard when she vanished.

Responding to reports in the media that Mr Bane had sailed away from the area, Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) spokesman Toby Derima said: "To the knowledge of investigators, Mr Bane remains in the Territory."

He added: "His whereabouts are known by law enforcement."

Image source, Family handout
Image caption,
Friends of the former flight attendant said they were "hugely grateful" that UK police were involved in the probe

VIPD said the investigation into Ms Heslop's disappearance was being assisted by the FBI and police in the UK, who were "finding and interviewing witnesses".

The force added searches for Ms Heslop on St John and nearby St Thomas were ongoing.

Friends of Ms Heslop in the UK said they were "hugely grateful" that UK police were involved.

They also thanked those still scouring the island for her.

"Locals in the USVI are back out putting up fresh posters and continuing their efforts," they said, adding: "We cannot thank them enough."

The friends who set up a Missing Sarm Heslop Facebook page to share information about her disappearance have previously called for an "urgent" search of the catamaran and questioned an apparent nine-hour delay in reporting her disappearance to the coastguard.

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