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The Anastacia: missing since March 31. The Anastacia: missing since March 31.

Search continues for Isla Mujeres vessel

Anastacia and five crew left Wednesday to go shark fishing

A massive search continues in the waters off Isla Mujeres in Quintana Roo for five fishermen who haven’t been seen since last Wednesday.

The 34-foot sportsfishing vessel Anastacia left Isla Mujeres on a shark-fishing trip near the island of Cozumel and were expected to return the following day.

As of yesterday, the Mexican Navy had deployed three boats and two aircraft while private citizens and businesses had contributed several more.

Three more aircraft joined the search on Sunday, one provided by the state government, another paid for by a local businessman and a third paid for with donations to a search fund by family and friends.

On the website gofundme.com, the Find the Anastacia Fund had raised nearly US $18,000 as of this morning after only two days. Anastacia co-owner Dianne Le Fon De La O of Carrollton, Texas, said the money would pay for fuel for the boats and planes engaged in the search.

Ferry service operator Ultramar contributed a 140-foot-long vessel and six crew members; it left Sunday with enough fuel to last 24 hours and carried 17 island residents and many pairs of binoculars.

In addition to three other private boats, the 60-foot U.S. boat Emily Bliss headed out Sunday with seven people aboard, while TV Isla Mujeres reported that the U.S. Coast Guard was also participating.

Friends of the missing fishermen have been reported as saying that the Anastacia is a sturdy boat and its crew are experienced. Crew members are Jorge de la O, Umberto Constantino, Alfonzo Torres, Marco Bardales and Russell Pech.

Source: TV Isla Mujeres (sp), Expediente Quintana Roo (sp)

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