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Old 25-03-2013, 09:46   #1
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Grasping at straws - Overdue Sailors

I have come across this forum several times when looking online for any tips or answers on my missing grandfather. The community seems very helpful to each other and I am hoping posting information about my granddad on this site may help. Here is the link to the official "missing persons" from the Marathon Sheriffs Dept with a picture of both men and a little information on the boat.
Monroe County Sheriff's Office - Florida Keys: Men missing from Marathon area
And although the report says both men were in reportably poor health, that was not true of William Vernon Smith, which is my grandfather. He was in much better health and condition than many much younger than him.

Unfortunately, the short write up is about what we know about the sailing trip. They have sailing experience from their "younger days" and had been working on this boat for a couple of months with anticipation on taking a sailing trip together. They left out for the trip and told a friend they were staying with they would be gone 3-4 weeks. I do want to go ahead and put out there that my granddad would not go this long with out contacting his daughter under any circumstance.

We have sort of come to terms with the fact that something terrible happen to the boat and he is not coming back.

I guess, I am hoping with this many sailors in one community, someone out near the area during the time of their departure may have seen them or if for some reason the boat washes ashore somewhere, it will be known that these men have been reported missing. It has been so long since their departure with no signs of the boat, we are thinking the boat must have sunk.

If anyone has any information on this boat or these two men, please let me know. Hoping for some kind of answers or closure for my family.

Thank you,
Angie
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Old 25-03-2013, 10:28   #2
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Re: Grasping at straws - Overdue Sailors

If you have any more information as to the type (make, model, size) of boat they had it would be helpful. Should you have pictures it would even be better.

Best of luck, and perhaps some one here can help.
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Old 25-03-2013, 10:51   #3
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Re: Grasping at straws - Overdue Sailors

We need any and all information on the type of boat, with photo if possible. Cruisers will remember boats better than people, whom they might not have met or seen. But, they will remember the boat. The information should get on the NW Caribbean Net. Anyone know how to reach any of the net controllers via email?
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Old 25-03-2013, 11:23   #4
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Re: Grasping at straws - Overdue Sailors

Thomas Lee Brewer Mugshot - Monroe County, FL - Booked for TRAFFIC OFFENSE - DUI - BREATH ALCOHOL LEVEL OF .08 OR MORE
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Old 25-03-2013, 11:25   #5
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Re: Grasping at straws - Overdue Sailors

More history:

Two Arrested In Smuggling Investigation - Sun Sentinel
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Old 25-03-2013, 11:26   #6
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Re: Grasping at straws - Overdue Sailors

Post states they left January 19, 2013 from Burdines Dockside aboard 35' white vessel ( motor/sail ? ) named "Blondie" stating they were going on extended fishing trip possibly to Jamaica.
More info from OP would be helpful.
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Old 25-03-2013, 11:33   #7
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Re: Grasping at straws - Overdue Sailors

Regardless of their past history, these two men are somebody's family, somebody's father or brother, or son.
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Old 25-03-2013, 11:35   #8
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Re: Grasping at straws - Overdue Sailors

Didn't say they weren't, and its a sad heartbreaking bit of news.

But information is information, and a past pattern of behavior is behavior which may lead to help locating them.
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Old 25-03-2013, 11:48   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltyMonkey View Post
Didn't say they weren't, and its a sad heartbreaking bit of news.

But information is information, and a past pattern of behavior is behavior which may lead to help locating them.
I agree. It helps fill in the story, possible motives etc..
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Old 25-03-2013, 12:12   #10
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Re: Grasping at straws - Overdue Sailors

It is correct that they have a drug past. They served time in prison for smuggling drugs. I do not think that is what this sailing trip was about, however; even if it was the family would just like to have any answers possible.

I have the following information we have come across for the boat. I wished I had pictures of the boat, but don't. If we come across any additional information I will post it. Also, the detective in Marathon has checked posted alerts in all ports. She also checked with homeland security and they are certain he is not in custody in another country.

Official Id #997462
Hull Length 34.7' Hull Breadth 10' Hull Depth 5'
Hull Material - fiberglass
Sailing Category - racer
Previously owned by Jim Burke
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Old 25-03-2013, 12:20   #11
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Re: Grasping at straws - Overdue Sailors

FYI, does not add much, but here is the full documentation info:


Vessel Name: BLONDIE USCG Doc. No.: 997462
Vessel Service: RECREATIONAL IMO Number: *
Trade Indicator: Recreational Call Sign: *
Hull Material: FRP (FIBERGLASS) Hull Number: *
Ship Builder: UNKN Year Built: *

Length (ft.): 34.7
Hailing Port: WINTHROP MA Hull Depth (ft.): 5
Owner: JIM BURKE
520 FOLLY ROAD STE. P131
CHARLESTON, SC 29412 Hull Breadth (ft.): 10
Gross Tonnage: 8
Net Tonnage: 7
Documentation Issuance Date: December 28, 2011 Documentation Expiration Date: December 31, 2012
Previous Vessel Names: No Vessel Name Changes Previous Vessel Owners: JIM BURKE
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Old 25-03-2013, 12:27   #12
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Re: Grasping at straws - Overdue Sailors

Is it a Beneteau First 34.7?
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Old 25-03-2013, 17:21   #13
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Re: Grasping at straws - Overdue Sailors

oh oh another hijack. WTF
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Old 25-03-2013, 17:26   #14
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Re: Grasping at straws - Overdue Sailors

sorry for your pain.. Best wishes..
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Old 26-03-2013, 03:28   #15
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Re: Grasping at straws - Overdue Sailors

The fact that this guy had a DUI in 2010 is relevant how?
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