Mon. Apr 22nd, 2024

Family holding out hope for safe return of 2 Americans whose yacht was hijacked in Grenada

By 37ci3 Feb26,2024

The sons of an American couple who disappeared when they had a yacht apparently kidnapped in Grenada called the couple’s disappearance “the rarest of rare occurrences” and hoped they would still be alive.

Nick Burrow, son of Kathy Brandel and Brian Hendry, son of Ralph Hendry, NBC spoke to Washington about the disappearance of his parents.

The sons first learned of the couple’s disappearance after they were contacted by officials at the US Consulate in Barbados. A Good Samaritan who found the couple’s abandoned boat, called Simplicity, got in touch. Salty Dawg Sailing Associationflag waving on the pole and word reached his two sons.

Kathy Brandel, front left, and Ralph Hendry, front right, with family.
Kathy Brandel, front left, and Ralph Hendry, front right, with family.Courtesy Hendry Family

Buro said they were told the couple was missing on February 18 after three men escaped police custody and boarded the couple’s boat in Grenada the next day.

Buro said they were told there was a “violent altercation” on the boat, adding that there was evidence of violence and that the couple’s belongings were “scattered all over the place.” Items were also stolen.

Royal Grenada Police said on Thursday that two people on board the boat may have died.

Buro said there was still no sign of the couple’s bodies, but the search continued in the hope they were alive. … I hope we can find them and bring them home and we’re still there.”

The fugitives were caught by police in the islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Wednesday and are being held there, the bureau and officials said.

Police told the Bureau that they have repeatedly questioned the suspects, and that the family expects charges soon.

Both Buro and Hendry are in the Caribbean and have spoken to authorities, including St. Vincent and the Grenadines police and the Coast Guard, and expressed their gratitude.

A spokesperson for the US State Department said it was aware of the reports about the two nationals, but did not identify the couple. The official added that the US authorities are coordinating with local law enforcement agencies regarding this incident.

“We are monitoring the situation and seeking further information,” the spokesman said. “The State Department has no higher priority than the well-being and safety of US citizens abroad. We stand ready to provide appropriate assistance to US citizens and their families in need.”

The Royal Grenada Police Force, the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force and the State Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the identities of the people on board.

Life on the water

The couple met in Virginia and have been married for 27 years. They raised the boys together in the state, where they lived until 2013, when they sold their home in Alexandria for Simplicity and a life on the water.

“They wanted to see the world. They wanted to experience life. They wanted to see what the world had to offer outside their little window of living together, being mobile and being able to have a different adventure every day. That’s the definition of living,” Buro said.

Buro said the family was always close and spoke often. He thinks of Ralph Hendry as his father and Brian Hendry as his brother, and knows that Hendry feels the same way about him and Brandel.

The couple “lived in wonder and love,” Hendry said.

“They loved immersing themselves in different cultures, meeting people and spreading their love wherever they could.”

Buro echoed his half-brother’s sentiments.

“You’ll never meet nicer people than Kathy and Ralph,” Buro said. “They were there for people when they needed it the most and I just, they’re my inspiration for everything and I can’t express enough how much I love them and I know everyone who knows them feels the same.”

The couple headed to Grenada — their first Caribbean island — “for years and years and years, training themselves, preparing the boat, preparing for the trip,” Hendry said.

Hendry said it was “going to be a long journey, not to be taken lightly” and the pair felt they had “prepared themselves adequately”.

Buro said they traveled with the Salty Dawg Sailing Association and everyone arrived safely.

The president of the association, Bob Osborne, said that the situation is sad and tragic.

“In all the years I’ve been cruising the Caribbean, I’ve never heard of anything like this,” he said.

The sons think their parents might still be alive

Buro thinks his mother and stepfather may still be alive.

“We still think there’s a chance they’re there,” Buro said. As the investigation continues and St. It is hoped that police in Vincent and the Grenadines “quickly apprehended and searched for the suspects”.

“We’re still hoping they’re OK and we can get them back,” Buro said.

He said the whole situation was “completely unexpected” and they were trying to make sense of “a senseless act of violence against two people living their lives in their own home”.

Buro said the couple worked hard on their dreams and were experienced sailors. Simplicity “was their home,” he said.

He said the couple’s top priority was always safety and security, “making sure everything they do is safe and will keep them safe.”

“That it came out in such a way that something out of their control took it away from them is what’s terrible and so sad because they were fair, it’s just something they always wanted to do and they did it. and it just breaks our hearts,” Buro said.

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By 37ci3

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