Parents of Brit missing for 12 days in Caribbean ‘distraught’ by disappearance

The parents of a British woman who disappeared while staying on a yacht in the Caribbean have promised they will “never give up” looking for her.

Sarm Heslop was last seen on March 7 aboard her boyfriend’s catamaran ‘Siren Song’ moored off the coast of St John in the Virgin Islands.

The 41-year-old former flight attendant from Southampton had been having dinner before returning to the vessel around 10pm.

Her US partner Ryan Bane, 44, said he woke up around 2am to the sound of the anchor alarm and found Ms Heslop missing and alerted the police before a major search was launched.

In a statement, parents Peter Heslop and Brenda Street said: “We are shocked and distraught that Sarm is missing.

“We would like assurance that the authorities in the Virgin Islands are doing everything possible to find her and that the investigation into our beautiful and cherished daughter’s disappearance includes a comprehensive fingertip search of the boat.

“Our daughter is a UK citizen and we ask for all of the support that the UK authorities have to offer.

“Our thanks go to the local people of St John’s [island] who continue to search for Sarm.

“We will never give up looking for Sarm and we still have hope of finding her safe.”

It is understood investigators from the Virgin Islands Police Department are now in possession of Ms Heslop’s belongings but have yet to search the yacht.

Earlier this week, friend Laura Taylor, 33, said somebody walking their dogs on the bayside heard a scream at around 1am on the day Ms Hislop’s disappearance.

“He was walking his dogs and he heard a scream, heard a female scream.

“Someone got in touch with her directly and said: ‘Can you call me?’. That’s what he said. I don’t know if the police have followed it up.

“It’s really important to note how close the boat is. A lot of people have reporting she’s lost at sea. She’s not. [The boat] is only 120ft from the shore,” she added.

Divers have been scouring the Caribbean waters since Ms Heslop vanished, with a witness appeal also put out by police.

A spokesman for the United States Virgin Islands Police Department told the Telegraph that the boat would be searched “eventually”.

He said: “We have not been able to search the boat yet and will do this in due course. It is something that will be done eventually.”

He added that police are “keeping their options open” and are looking to see whether Ms Heslop could have “fled” to St Thomas, a 20-minute boat ride from St John.