Concerns grow for missing Sarm Heslop as friends and family desperate to find her

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Richard Jones

The friends of a woman from Southampton who went missing in the Caribbean two weeks ago today (22 March) say they're desperate to find out what has happened to her.

Former cabin crew, Sarm Heslop was last seen on board her boyfriend's boat off the coast of St John in the US Virgin Islands on the 8 March. 

Sarm Heslop

The 41-year-old left the UK in January 2020 to sail around the world with friends but got stranded in the Caribbean because of the pandemic.

Andrew Baldwin and Kate Vernalls haven't seen Sarm for more than a year, but had kept in touch with her and her adventures through texts and her posts on social media.

Andrew Baldwin and Kate Vernalls Credit: ITV News Meridian

Sarm's phone, passport and wallet were on the boat when she went missing.

Andrew says: "She wouldn't leave those things behind. And we know that with the group of friends she has around the world, she would have been in touch with one of us."

There is criticism about the timeline of when Sarm was initially reported missing and when the coastguard were informed.

Andrew says Sarm's family and friends just want to establish what happened.

"We know that Sarm was at dinner in the evening, we know there was a call to the police at 2:30am and that they advised the coastguard be called, but that didn't happen until 11:46am, nine hours later.

"Those are the facts we know, we just want to know more, we struggle to believe she has disappeared without a trace."

Sarm Heslop

Kate Vernalls says: "We are being told the police here and there are doing everything they can.

"But it doesn't feel there is enough momentum to get what we need to answer our questions."

A website has been set up along with the hashtag #FINDSARM in the hope of reaching out to the world to find her.

Sarm's boyfriend Ryan Bane issued a statement through his lawyer saying his thoughts are with Sarm's family and friends, and that he has spent 'countless hours searching for her and will continue to do so. He's devastated that she's missing'.

The Virgin Islands Police Department continue to investigate her disappearance.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Sarm is urged to call 911, the Criminal Investigation Bureau at (340) 774-2211, or Crime Stoppers USVI at (800) 222-TIPS.