Screen_Shot_2015-06-30_at_7.34.33_PMAnd in an update to a story we ran on Friday, after three days of continuous searches, officials at the National Belize Coast Guard have suspended their efforts in locating missing at sea captain, Leoli Varela. The 80 year old was reported missing at sea on Thursday night. Reports are that he was on-board his tug boat traveling with cargo from San Pedro to the Belize Port with his crew. The weather conditions that evening were less than favourable with high winds, choppy seas and heavy rains and while the tugboat was pulling the barge into the Port a strong squall diverted the boat’s course into the Port. The boat crew tried to avoid a collision onto the pier by detaching the barge from the tug as they were also afraid of tipping over. In the process, the tugboat collided with the barge while Varela was on deck. The impact sent him overboard, and some of the crew said that he seemed to have been injured as he fell into the water. Since then, search efforts have been futile as authorities indicate that there have been several changes in the weather conditions over the past few days. It is believed that shifts in currents may have caused the body to drift out to sea.

Varela was a man of the sea all his life. He was a fisherman for many years. Ironically he operated his own boat known as “La Perdida”. And while the searches have been suspended, it is reported that the Varela family plans to commemorate his life in a special mass this coming weekend on La Isla Bonita.

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