The search for four fishermen reported missing at sea on Friday continues, despite the efforts of the coast guard and police department taking an ominous turn.  Forty-two-year-old Omar Thompson, twenty-nine-year-old Brenton Brackett, nineteen-year-old Leon Joseph and Jeffery Gomez, all residents of Dangriga, remain unaccounted for, following a fishing trip to Southern Long Caye around December eleventh.  Thompson’s common-law wife, Shani Alvarez, reported to police that her last communication with him was last Monday while he was reportedly still on the island.  Since then, she has made several attempts to reach him but her calls and messages have all gone unanswered.  On Saturday, December nineteenth, a formal report was made to Dangriga police; a day after the Belize Coast Guard was notified of their disappearance.  According to Operations Officer, Lieutenant Kenrick Thomas, they have been actively searching for the quartet of fishermen to no avail.  In what appears to be a strange twist, News Five understands that Dangriga police are now pursuing a new lead that something untoward may have transpired on Southern Long Caye involving the four men.

Lt. Kenrick Thomas, Operations Officer, Belize Coast Guard

“On Friday December eighteenth, at about 11:40, our operations center received a call reporting of four missing persons at sea.  They were last seen departing Southern Long Caye en route to Dangriga.  The vessel was described to us as being an eighteen-footer powered by a forty horse power engine, white skiff named Sea Life.  Immediately, the coast guard initiated a search and rescue operation.  This surface operation is still ongoing and is being collaborated very closely with the Dangriga police and fisheries officers out at Twin Caye.”

Isani Cayetano

“Can you tell us what perhaps were the marine conditions or the weather conditions that the men may have been facing on Friday when this vessel was reported missing?”

Lt. Kenrick Thomas

“The marine condition on Friday was very calm seas, but I cannot tell prior to.  But after calculating set and drift, in relation to the date that they were last seen, the coast guard has executed several search patterns.  These patterns were all conducted in different areas; creeping line, expanding square, parallel and track line searches.  These patterns are executed within a search area of Riversdale North, Colson Point east to Southern Long Caye and south to the Pelican Cayes, covering a total of twenty square nautical miles.”

Isani Cayetano

“What are the family members saying?  I’m certain that you guys are probably in communication, they’ve given you a profile, perhaps, of these individuals.  What are they saying?”

Lt. Kenrick Thomas

“The family members only presented to us where they were last seen and how many persons were onboard and the area they are known to conduct their fishing activities.”

Isani Cayetano

“My final question, what is the likelihood at this point in time that these men may be found either alive and in one piece or without facing some kind of difficulty at sea, perhaps loss of water or food or that sort of stuff?”

Lt. Kenrick Thomas

“We haven’t received any report of the vessel not being seaworthy, so the coast guard are still conducting surface searches in the likelihood that we could locate them safe at sea. We would like to inform the general public that if they might have any information that could assist the coast guard with our search efforts, to please contact our operations center at telephone number 222-5262 or any nearest police station.”

Father of Missing Man Says They Went Out on Routine Fishing Trip

On Sunday, Dave Brackett Senior spoke about the disappearance of his son, Brenton. He says that the men went out on a routine fishing trip near Southern Long Caye and based on a call that Brenton had with his common-law-wife on December twelfth, they were to return later that day.  They never did and now it’s been eleven days since they left Dangriga Town en route to the area, and were last heard from ten days ago.

Dave Brackett Sr., Father of Missing Fisherman

“I understand that they left town on the eleventh of this month on a fishing like what they usually go on and they noh return so far. They left word that they would be back in town on the twelfth of this month—that’s last week Saturday.”

Reporter

“Where would they usually go to fish?”

Dave Brackett Sr.

“In the Long Caye area; the area around Long Caye.”

Reporter

“So they always do this? Go fishing?”

Dave Brackett Sr.

“Yeah they usually do that.”

Reporter

“And how long dehn usually take out there?”

Dave Brackett Sr.

“About a week the most or so. Sometimes overnight, two days, three days; up to about a week.”

Reporter

“Did they call anybody?”

Dave Brackett Sr.

“He called his common-law wife, the person he lives with, he called her on the twelfth saying that they were coming back home on that day.”

Reporter

“More or less what time was that?”

Dave Brackett Sr.

“I am not sure what time. She didn’t tell me what time they called her. They were leaving from Long Caye.”

Channel 5