Coast Guard calls off search for missing Delray Beach woman

Isabella Hellmann, 41, disappeared during sailing trip near Bahamas

By Peter Burke - Managing Editor
U.S. Coast Guard/Signature International

Isabella Hellmann disappeared Sunday night during a sailing trip near Cay Sal, Bahamas. The catamaran was later found overturned in the Florida Straits.

MIAMI - The U.S. Coast Guard has called off its search for a missing Delray Beach woman who disappeared during a sailing trip near the Bahamas.

A Coast Guard news release said the search for Isabella Hellmann, 41, was called off at 8:45 p.m. Thursday.

"Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of Ms. Hellmann in this difficult time," Capt. Aldante Vinciguerra, chief of response for the Coast Guard Seventh District, said in a statement. "Suspending a search is never an easy call to make and was made with deep consideration in this tragic case."

The Coast Guard said Hellmann's husband, Lewis Bennett, was rescued Monday from a life raft about 30 miles west of Cay Sal, Bahamas.

Bennett said he was on his 37-foot catamaran, "Surf into Summer," when it struck an unknown object, causing it to take on water. The 41-year-old man told the Coast Guard that he abandoned the catamaran and couldn't find his wife.

The catamaran was later found overturned in the Florida Straits.

Hellmann is a real estate agent at Signature International Real Estate in Delray Beach.

The Coast Guard said it covered more than 6,680 square miles in its search for Hellmann.

Copyright 2017 by WPLG - All rights reserved.