Friend of woman missing from yacht in Virgin Islands speaks out
Andrew Baldwin asks for the search for his friend, Sarm Heslop, to be treated with the ‘utmost immediacy and severity.’
A friend of the British woman who vanished from her American boyfriend’s yacht in the U.S. Virgin Islands over a week ago is questioning why police have yet to search the vessel where she was last seen, he told Fox News on Tuesday.
Andrew Baldwin, speaking on “America’s Newsroom,” said Sarm Heslop is his best friend and wants to understand why investigators have taken so long to search the 47-foot Siren Song, which was moored in Frank Bay, St. John, at the time the former flight attendant went missing.
UK WOMAN WHO VANISHED FROM YACHT OFF VIRGIN ISLANDS HAS BEEN MISSING FOR OVER A WEEK
“It’s been eight days since Sarm disappeared,” Baldwin said. “Eight days in, they could’ve found anything on the boat.”
Heslop was last seen the night of March 7 aboard the vessel owned and operated by her American boyfriend, who has since been identified as Ryan Bane.
Heslop is a former flight attendant from Southampton, a port city on England’s southern coast.
(Virgin Islands Police Department)
Baldwin told Fox News that Heslop met Bane after sailing with two friends across the Atlantic from the U.K. to the Virgin Islands at the end of 2019.
“She met Ryan at some point over the next year while she was locked down because of COVID,” he said, adding their relationship has been ongoing for five or six months.
Bane told investigators that he and Heslop returned to the vessel from St. John around 10 p.m. and went to sleep, U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Ricardo Castrodad told the Virgin Island Daily News on Thursday.
Castrodad said the American called police to report Heslop missing at 11:46 a.m. the next day, telling them that “at 2 a.m. he woke up and realized that she was not on board.” He also told police that Heslop’s cellphone and other belongings were still aboard the vessel, and the dinghy was still tied up.
Police divers and volunteers have scoured the waters along the coastline in search of Heslop in the days that followed. But searchers have found no sign of anyone in the water.
Baldwin said that he finds it “incredibly difficult” to believe Heslop fell from the vessel. Police have said there was no evidence to indicate that the Southampton native ever entered the water.
Nancy Grace on UK woman who went missing from yacht off Caribbean
Fox Nation host looks at the disappearance and search for 41-year-old Sarm Heslop on ‘Fox & Friends’
Fox Nation’s Nancy Grace examined the timing surrounding Heslop’s disappearance on “Fox & Friends” Monday morning, saying, “I’m curious why it took [Bane] almost 10 hours to alert anyone.”
Baldwin urged Bane to support police in their investigation, and for authorities to handle the search with the “utmost immediacy and severity.”
Bane could not be reached for comment on Heslop’s disappearance. His legal counsel, David Cattie, released a statement on his behalf.
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“Mr. Bane will not be sitting for any interviews,” the statement said. “Mr. Bane’s only hope is that Sarm is found alive and well. His thoughts and prayers are with Sarm and her family during this difficult time.
“Mr. Bane has spent countless hours searching for Sarm and will continue to do so. Ryan is devastated that Sarm is missing.”
Heslop’s friends have set up a Missing Sarm Heslop Facebook page to share information about the search as police continue to investigate the disappearance.
Virgin Islands Police have urged anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Heslop to contact the Criminal Investigation Bureau at 340-774-2211.
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