American Disappears Off Fishing Boat Near Peru

Keith Davis 'is not the type of guy who's just going to fall off a boat': relative
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2015 2:52 PM CDT
American Disappears Off Fishing Boat Near Peru
The Coast Guard and FBI are searching for Keith Davis.   (Shutterstock)

An adventurous marine biologist described by a family member as a "MacGyver-type guy" who was careful and resourceful disappeared earlier this month off the fishing boat he was monitoring—and his family isn't convinced it was an accident, CNN reports. Keith Davis, reported to be 41 or 42, was monitoring the Panama-registered Victoria No. 168, ensuring the crew was sticking to international fishing guidelines, when he disappeared Sept. 10 as the boat cruised about 500 miles off the Peruvian coast. Now the FBI and US Coast Guard are involved in the investigation, which has few details to offer so far. "He's just gone," the director of the Coast Guard's Investigative Service tells CNN. Crew members have said they noticed Davis, who had been on the boat about three weeks, was missing when they sought him out to approve a fish transfer.

But his relatives are doubting this story, especially considering the experience of other such observers: CNN notes that they aren't fishermen's favorite people, mainly because they report violations to the authorities. That leads to observers being threatened and even assaulted—"every observer who has been doing it for very long has a story," an industry rep tells CNN—and one of Davis' family members tells WCVB that Davis had emailed his dad and said he was "uncomfortable" on the Victoria. Even more chilling: a video on a closed Facebook page dedicated to Davis that shows him singing about other observers who've gone missing at sea. A post by a relative notes that Davis' dad says his son's belongings were seized by the Panamanians and that US officials have not been allowed to interview a "person of interest," Raw Story reports. "It would be irresponsible of me to call this a 'coverup' of sorts however I am at a loss to call it otherwise," the post reads. (Read more FBI stories.)

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