American Sailors Presumed Killed In Grenada

Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brandel, a married couple, had been sailing in the Caribbean on their beloved catamaran Simplicity, when the vessel was found on Feb. 19 off the shores of Grand Anse Beach in Grenada, “bearing chilling evidence of a violent struggle,” their family said in a statement.

The Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) said in a Thursday statement that they’re investigating leads that “suggest” the couple might have been killed, possibly by three fugitives who escaped from a jail cell and hijacked their boat.

Two American sailors are presumed dead in the Caribbean after their yacht was hijacked by escaped prisoners and later found abandoned, bearing evidence of a violent struggle, according to their family and local investigators.

‘Veteran Cruisers’

The nonprofit Salty Dawg Sailing Association (SDSA) said in a statement that Mr. Hendry and Ms. Brandel were “veteran cruisers” and longtime members of the association.

Calling them “warmhearted and capable,” the SDSA said that a cruising skipper came across the couple’s yacht, anchored and abandoned off a beach on the south coast of St. Vincent, an island in the Caribbean.

“The good Samaritan had boarded the boat and noted that the owners, Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brandel, were not onboard and found evidence of apparent violence,” the SDSA said.

Police were alerted, with news later emerging that three dangerous inmates had escaped from a Grenada prison and were at large, with SDSA saying that it was speculated that the trio had boarded the couple’s yacht.

In a statement, the couple’s family thanked volunteers who worked to gather information and provide search and rescue support.

“It means so much to us that so many people cared for Ralph and Kathy as friends and fellow cruisers that they are willing to stop and help in whatever way possible,” family members Bryan Hendry and Nick Buro said in a joint statement.

They called on volunteers to “stand down” from their search for the bodies of the deceased couple and let officials continue the investigation.

“We also want to applaud the St. Vincent authorities for their quick actions in securing Simplicity and their brave, swift response that led to the apprehension of three dangerous fugitives,” the family members added.Two American sailors are presumed dead in the Caribbean after their yacht was hijacked by escaped prisoners and later found abandoned, bearing evidence of a violent struggle, according to their family and local investigators.

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