An additioanal snippet from Danny Meighan long-time tourism operator
and a guy who knows the seas well:
Danny Meighan, 58, a former Belize City Councilor now living in West
Palm Beach, Florida, visited Amandala today to vent his frustration
with police, who, he said, had abandoned their duty to six Belizean
men still missing at sea, one of whom is his son, Elon Reyes, 25.
The body of the seventh man, Magistrate Richard Swift, was found on
Glovers Reef almost a week after the men reportedly went on a fishing
trip on Sunday, November 4, and did not return.
Meighan, who said that he was on the sea regularly when he lived in
Belize, questioned the fact that police have apparently bought the
notion that the seven men "went fishing."
"The men's cell phones and wallets were found in the boat. There were
no fishing lines, no hooks, no anchor in the boat. How do you go
fishing without lines, hooks and an anchor?" he wanted to know.
"The commanding officer for the rescue operations, General Cedric
Borland of the Belize Coast Guard, did all he could, I think, but he
is not trained to investigate what could be homicides. The police
should have taken over the operations, and so far they have done
nothing since the search has been called off," fumed Meighan.
Danny Meighan, who has been in Belize for about three weeks, also
questions the fact that it was only Dr. Mario Estradabran who examined
Swift's body. He said that the family had wanted a relative, Dr. Hugh
Sanchez, to examine the body, but this reportedly was refused by Dr.
Meighan, who says he has many sea-going friends in the area who know
him well because he had been in tourism before leaving for the United
States, has been doing some investigating of his own.
He said that he has learned that at about 4:00 to 4:30, the boat, the
Ocean Hopper, was seen on the north side of Long Caye, which is
between St. George's Caye and Caye Caulker. A "cigarette boat," slang
for a type of fast boat that drug dealers use, pulled up alongside the
Ocean Hopper, said Meighan.
Meighan said that some fishermen told him that at about 5:30 p.m. they
saw the Ocean Hopper heading out to "the blue." The craft had already
navigated the reef between St. George's Caye and Long Caye.
Meighan also discounts the theory that the boat ran on a reef.
"I know boats. I saw the Ocean Hopper, and the bow and bottom were not
damaged. The boat was intact. It did not hit the reef. I cannot
understand why the police are so willing to call it an accident, or so
easily accept the story that the men went fishing," insisted Meighan.
Meighan was incredulous: "Went fishing in a small boat with a small
engine, with seven men inside, in rough seas with poor visibility and
He also had some words for attorney Audrey Matura Shepherd, who
announced that she was spokesperson for the families of the missing
"She wasn't really accessible to me …she seemed at times to be
somewhat evasive …I think she was there just for the families of the
men missing from Avis rental agency," he said.
Elon Reyes is survived by his mother, Mrs. Carmita Reyes Lizama, his
father, Danny Meighan, ten brothers and seven sisters.
Meighan says he is leaving for the U.S. tomorrow, Tuesday. He offered
his thanks to all the institutions and members of the public who
helped with the search, or in any way assisted the families in what
was certainly a very difficult time.