A Belizean Fisherman has been missing for three days. His Belize City family is fearing for the worst as his last known whereabouts was out at sea. The story is that 26-year-old Khris Gentle was working on Austine Bogue Island which is nine miles away from Belize City for over a month. According to his sister, she received reports stating that Gentle left the Island on a Kayak to go fishing for conchs. Since then, he never returned to the Island which alarmed his employer and the watchman of the Caye. Gentle’s employer came back to Belize City and informed the family of what transpired, and they subsequently filed a missing person’s report.
Sister: “I think he came in Monday morning around twelve and I was home early that day so I saw him and I asked him why he was in so early he said that nothing was out on the island for him to do so he came in and he said he was going out the next day. Me I normally go to work early so I didn’t see him that morning but when I came back in the evening I didn’t see him so I knew that he had left, this is Tuesday. Wednesday the man that he went with actually came back in and Chris did not come in but we weren’t really worried about it because then from I spoke with him Monday he said that he was going to be out there a little while and he was going to come in tomorrow which is Saturday so then we really didn’t think anything about it until yesterday when they came and they told my sisters that he had went out somewhere I’m not really sure of the story and he hadn’t returned as yet.”
Reporter: As in left from off the island?
Sister: “Basically. So as opposed to the stories we don’t really know what to believe at this time. I mean me and my sisters we’re trying to keep the faith, my brothers, my aunts, my cousins we’re trying to keep the faith, hoping that they would find him because then he is not a bad person and it’s so shocking because he only just started to do this job probably a month and then one month in and me being very concerned about the sea thing I even asked him one night I said ‘Do you guys go anywhere close to Mapp Caye where those people came up missing?’ he said ‘No, no, we’re not out in that area.’ So I was actually feeling a bit comfortable about the situation because then he was not close to that area but then again I guess I should have thought about it as the sea on a whole.”
According to the sister of Roches, just the thought of their loved one being lost at sea is a tragic one.
Sister: “They’re stating to us that he left the island and our thing is why would he leave the island? He doesn’t even know the sea to want to leave the island. Because first they’re saying that he went and he went to dive conch on his own, my thing is Chris as a person he doesn’t venture into stuff that he doesn’t know and even for him to stay on the island probably he would just stay on the island, sleep on the island, wait until his employer comes in the next day for him to go and do what they’re doing so why would he leave and go in a dorey to dive conchs? The person that he was with actually tried to make a report first but then they said the family had to make a report so then of course we did go made that report and then the employer and the watchman that was stationed out there this morning they were to come in and make a statement as to what he was wearing and when was the last time they saw him because they were actually the last ones with him. I haven’t heard anything about that as yet I was actually inside saying that I was going to go ahead and try to call them and try to find out more about what is happening but I really do hope that he does come back in and he’s safe and in good health.”
Love News understands that the Belize Coast Guard (BCG) launched a preliminary operation near Austine Bogue Caye and the surrounding Islands this morning. The search came up fruitless as Gentle has been missing for over 72 hours. According to the Operations Officer, Roque Canul they have to formulate a comprehensive plan in order to properly search the area.