A BRIT who vanished off a yacht while sailing with her boyfriend “would not just disappear without a trace,” her friend has said.
A search is underway in the Carribean, around the US Virgin Islands, for 41-year-old Sarm Heslop, after her boyfriend told cops she might have fallen overboard in the night.
A close friend of Sarm’s, who did not want to be named, told the Sun that her friend’s phone, passport and belongings had all been left on the boat, where she had been living with her boyfriend.
“She would not just disappear, leaving no trace,” she said.
It was believed Sarm and her boyfriend had been to a restaurant in French Bay, on St Thomas Island, on Sunday night – the night she vanished.
Locals said they left at 10pm, in accordance with local Covid measures, and went back to their boat; a 47ft Siren Song catamaran where the pair were living.
The boyfriend is understood to have told cops they watched a film and fell asleep.
But then he woke at 2am and noticed that she wasn’t there.
Another pal of Sarm’s, Laura Taylor, said she was "panicked and confused" when she heard Sarm was missing.
She told The Sun: "I just thought, how?
"Sarm is super smart, level-headed and super well travelled. And she's 41 – she has a good head on her shoulders.”
Laura also said Sarm had sent her a text a month ago saying she was on the way to the Virgin Islands with her boyfriend on his boat and was “really looking forward to it”.
A U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said that Sector San Juan received a call from Sarm’s boyfriend on Monday, around 11.46am.
He “reported that his girlfriend may have fallen” from the boat,” the spokesman said.
Divers have joined a huge search for Sarm, who is originally from Hertford, with the local community rallying together to help.
Sarm, who has previously worked as a flight attendant and in call centres, had been living on the Siren Song for a number of months with her boyfriend.
The vessel, which her boyfriend owns, is rented out to charter guests who she takes on a tour of the islands for around £5,000-a-week.
It was estimated to be worth around £500,000.
Both friends who had spoken to the Sun about Sarm’s disappearance wanted to thank all the local community for their support in searching for Sarm both on water and land.
Sarm’s boyfriend told Surrey Live: "She is loved by everyone who knows her.
“Sarm's sense of adventure took her to the Caribbean, and like wherever she goes, she had made many friends.
"She is such a loving, fun girl. We just want her back safe and sound."
Police Department Public Information Officer Toby Derima said: “An English woman has gone missing on our island and we are appealing for help in trying to locate her.
“Unfortunately, this effort proved unsuccessful.
"She was last seen on Sunday aboard her boat which was moored off the coast of St. John.
“Every day that goes by and we don't have any news about her is a major concern for us. “We need to locate her as soon as possible.
“She is a white female of average built and height.
“She has a tattoo on her left shoulder.”
Sarm’s Instagram account is filled with pictures of her sailing through stunning sunsets, snorkeling and hiking.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Virgin Islands Police Department.
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