Avid S. Fla. Boater Baffled By Data From Missing Millionaire’s Boat
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South Florida Crime
FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The latest clue as to what may have happened to a millionaire who went missing off Ft. Lauderdale’s coast doesn’t seem help police much in their search for an answer.
Guma Aguiar disappeared June 19th after heading out to sea in his boat. His boat was recovered hours later, the motor still running, but Aguiar had vanished. A massive search for the Aguiar by the Coast Guard and law enforcement agencies turned up nothing.
On Thursday, Ft. Lauderdale police said after analyzing the date from the GPS in Aguiar’s boat, detectives have found no evidence to suggest the boat ever came to a complete stop.
The GPS data shows the Aguiar headed northeast from the area of Port Everglades until he was approximately 3.5 nautical miles from the closest shoreline. The top speed of the vessel was approximately 31 miles per hour at 7:35 P.M.
Twenty one minutes later, however, the GPS data shows an abrupt decrease of speed, slowing down to approximately 0.6 miles per hour, as well as a drastic change in course to head westbound. The boat then drifted westbound with speeds no greater than 3 miles per hour, eventually coming ashore on Fort Lauderdale beach.
Detectives were able to locate a witness, who was out on the water Guma Aguiar left Port Everglades. The witness described the boat as being operated at a high rate of speed and “wave jumping.” The witness only observed one person on the boat.
Based upon the witness’ statements, as well as the GPS analysis, detectives said there is still no evidence to suggest foul play or that anyone else was on the boat with Aguiar.
Experienced boater Lynn Mitchell can’t figure out what happened either. She looked at the GPS data, along with weather data.
“You know, 20 miles an hour, in a straight east wind, it’s sort of sloppy out there,” she said, referring to the harsh conditions that day on the water.
“If you were to do a crew transfer from one boat to another, you’d want to do it downwind, you come up to a certain point, you turn around and you go downwind with the waves, and it would be easy to jump into another boat. There’s endless possibilities,” said Mitchell.
Detectives are still looking into what happened prior to Guma getting onto his boat and heading out to sea.
Detectives have classified Aguiar as a missing person.
Broward County Judge Mark Speiser has appointed attorney Tom Panza as conservator of Aguiar’s estate while Aguiar’s wife, Jamie, and mother, Ellen, argue over who should ultimately control the estate valued at $100 million dollars.