Family of Missing Men Are Still Holding Out Hope After Search Efforts End
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After rescue crews ended their search for two missing men from Bimini, family members are holding out hope they would be found alive and have offered a reward as they piece together the circumstances surrounding the men’s disappearance nearly two weeks ago.
The whereabouts of James Toote, 31, and Nazar Robins, 23, from Bimini, Bahamas are still a mystery after frantic searches led to a dead end. Toote, a fisherman routinely travels to Grand Bahama and took Robins with him expecting to return the next day in a vessel that he purchased.
Family members of the men only grew concerned when they did not arrive in Bimini, and alerted officials about the missing case.
Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force became involved, conducting searches, but to no avail.
“Basically, we searched and searched and searched all week, last week with planes, boats and helicopters. Basically, the Royal Bahamas Defence Force was the lead in the case, and yesterday (Sunday) we searched again and that was our last day. We gave it all just about a full week, two planes, three planes in the air at all times,” Eddie Whan, BASRA Chairman told the Tribune.
“We have done everything that we can possibly humanly do up until [Sunday].
“We have had negative results in all of the searches.”
Relatives have since offered a reward for information leading to the whereabouts of the men, asking for members of the public to help identify the previous operators of the boat before it was purchased.
“We need to backtrack and identify the last person to see them or hear their voices.
“If you know something, please say something. Our families are hurting,” Robin’s sister pleaded.
The men’s cell phones were reportedly last used in the West End area, and their vessel reportedly departed from Port Lucaya in Grand Bahama.
Robin’s mother, Renee Smith also pleaded for help locating the men, “Please! We need closure.
“I believe I will see Nazr again. Hoping and praying still,” she said.
Whitney Brice, the niece of Toote said while she awaits their return, the pain of not knowing is overwhelming.
“From Sunday to now, no word at all. Lord knows this is hurtful. Yes, I trust you Lord but the process is rough.”
Early in the investigation, rumours circulated that the men were arrested in Florida, but the families quickly shot down the speculations.
“The rumours may not be true but someone knows what happened and we will wait for that story,” Robin’s sister said.