Missing La. woman’s boat found near Puerto Rico

GONZALES, LA (WAFB) – The catamaran belonging to a Louisiana woman and her husband who have been missing since Hurricane Maria swept across St. Croix has been found near Puerto Rico, a relative said Friday. The couple remains missing.

The catamaran’s dinghy was not attached, giving renewed hope to the family that their missing loved ones somehow made it to safety.

Jennifer Stephens Robinson, of Gonzales, and her husband, Scott Hansen, were last heard from on September 19 as they called relatives to say they had boarded their catamaran and were leaving St. Croix to escape the path of the hurricane.

Friday, the family got word that the U.S. Navy spotted the catamaran on September 22 adrift on the south end of Puerto Rico. The catamaran is named The Briseis.

“With the news of the Briesis boat found by the Navy with the dinghy not attached to the boat, we are encouraged that Scott and Jennifer are possibly in a situation that they simply cannot get in contact with us,” Jennifer’s sister, Ellen Elias, said Friday. “Our hope now is that someone on land will see them and connect us to them.”

The family got news earlier this week that the couple’s cell phone was last used just off the coast of Puerto Rico on September 19. Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria and extensive damage there has severely crippled communication on the island.

Anyone with information on the missing couple is asked to call the U.S. Coast Guard at 305-415-6800.

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