Family searching for boaters lost at sea between Key West and Honduras

Family members are looking for help as they look for two men who went missing on their way from Key West to Guanaja, Honduras.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Family members are looking for help as they search for two men who were on their way from Key West to Guanaja, Honduras, when they went missing at sea.

Christopher Bush Sr., a 51-year-old Miami native and Navy veteran, and his 69-year-old cousin Dionisio Sanchez, the boat’s captain, were in one boat, towing a second.

They left May 5 but by May 8 they lost an engine and the last their families heard from them was a happy Mother’s Day message over a satellite phone before the two men and two boats went missing.

“I’ve been just trying to hold it together,” said Christopher Bush Jr., who is now desperately trying to find them.

Bush Jr. left his Broward County home Monday and headed to Honduras to help in the search. He says the men went missing 133 miles from Guanaja on May 10.

“After that, we lost contact with them and it’s just been a search from here,” Bush Jr. said.

He said the family reached out to the U.S. Coast Guard guard but “they can’t do much because it’s in Caribbean waters. They just helped with the drift routes from their last location.”

Lt. Cmdr. Jason Neiman, a public affairs officer for the Coast Guard sent a statement to Local 10 News saying: “Guard District 7 watchstanders, on behalf of RCC Honduras, issued an Enhanced Group Calling message to alert mariners transiting the area to be on the lookout for the vessel. Additionally, watchstanders also provided drift models which assist rescue coordinators in planning and focusing their search efforts.”

Bush Jr. also contacted the Honduran government and multiple embassies and is raising money online to expand the effort to look for his father, his cousin and the two vessels.

He said he’s hoping to hire private planes to do flyover searches around Mexico, the Cayman Islands and other areas the boats may have drifted to.

“I try to go day by day positive, but I know the waters can be very dangerous and I just don’t understand how it could go wrong so fast,” Bush Jr. said. “We’re just trying to keep a positive outlook trying to get the most help we can.

Click here to see the GoFundMe page set up to aid the search efforts.

About the Author:

Saira Anwer joined the Local 10 News team in July 2018. Saira is two-time Emmy-nominated reporter and comes to South Florida from Madison, Wisconsin, where she was working as a reporter and anchor.