British police have joined the investigation into the disappearance of a woman reported missing from a yacht in the US Virgin Islands more than three weeks ago.
Sarm Heslop, 41, from Southampton, had been staying on the Siren Song, a catamaran her friends say is owned and operated by her American boyfriend Ryan Bane, moored off the coast of Saint John.
Ms Heslop was last seen having dinner with Mr Bane at a restaurant on St John island.
Mr Bane reported her missing in the early hours of 8 March, telling police he had woken up to find his girlfriend gone.
The FBI is also assisting the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) investigation and searches continue on St John and nearby St Thomas.
Ms Heslop’s family say they are becoming increasingly concerned for her and have expressed their gratitude for those helping the search.
They said they were grateful that the local community was continuing to search for her.
“It is now over three weeks since Sarm went missing, 25 days in which we get more and more concerned as we wait for news,” the family said.
“We know that the Virgin Islands Police Department is doing as much as possible and we are pleased that Hampshire Police is also assisting their investigation.
“If we could travel then we would; we just want to be on the island helping with the search and we dream of being able to wrap our arms around our darling daughter.”
Ms Heslop’s friends, who have set up a Facebook group to raise awareness and share details as they emerge, said locals have been putting up posters.
One of her best friends, who did not wish to be named, said: “As a friends group, we are doing everything we can to help support her parents and each other.
“No matter how insignificant something may seem, the tiniest detail may be relevant so we would encourage people to come forward and speak to VIPD immediately.”
Ms Heslop’s friends previously called for a “thorough fingertip” search of the boat after Mr Bane denied police access
A Hampshire Constabulary spokesperson confirmed officers were providing operational support to assist the VIPD investigation.
“This assistance is being facilitated through the UK government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office,” they said, but declined to comment further.