The Persistence is working in shallow waters today. Working in shallow waters is in one sense a relief compared to the deep water areas. The shallower water is protected by the island both in terms of wind and currents. As a result, the area is serene and beautiful. On the other hand, the shallow water area contains its own set of hazards. Closer to shore, passing boats, coral, and underwater obstructions increase the risk of damaging equipment.
Sun 17-Feb 1700 hrs
The decision to not immediately re-arrest Joran van der Sloot has not affected the resolve of the search team. Despite the poor weather, survey operations continue.
Fri 15-Feb 1100 hrs
Over the past few days, progress in the deep water areas has been hampered by 14ft seas and 30kt+ wind. The conditions are simply too rough to work safely. Today, the Persistence headed out to the survey area, completed a single line, and headed back to the dock after getting pounded in the rough conditions.
The dedicated ocean search for Natalee Holloway has been underway since mid-November, 2007. What began in Louisiana during mobilization now culminating in Aruba, the search has utilized some of the best search equipment and personnel in the world. To date, approximately 900 miles of sonar data has been collected covering a geographic area 80% the size of Aruba. The search has required a painstakingly slow approach which in the end leaves no stone unturned.
Although slow, this approach is extremely effective in marine search and recovery. Since the beginning, the search has been privately funded by Louis Schaefer Jr. of Underwater Expeditions who remarkably and gracefully accepted the financial burden when requested by Texas Equusearch and Natalee's parents. John Silvetti of Marine Surveys, Greg Landry of Offshore Innovative Solutions, Erik McGuire of Seatronics, along with Agiosat and Wilkens Weather Service came beside Louis to conduct this humanitarian effort. To put this search effort in financial perspective, an equivalent search conducted for industry would involve costs well exceeding several million dollars. This project has been conducted for about 35 cents on the dollar, with costs still exceeding a million dollars.
Although we have searched and ruled out an extensive portion of the original planned search area, a substantial portion of the high-probability area yet remains to be explored. Now, following a publicly confirmed admission that Natalee Holloway was disposed at sea, we are confident that completing the focused search area will bring closure. We therefore formally invite and request anyone who this humanitarian effort has touched to get involved and to help support the remaining search efforts. Donations are being handled by Texas Equusearch, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization. Please come beside those who have already given so much to help ensure a proper funeral in Alabama for Natalee Holloway. Please make all donations marked as: "Holloway search".
To learn more about Texas Equusearch and to help support the search for Natalee Holloway, check out: http://www.texasequusearch.org/donate.html
Texas EquuSearch Office:
4013 FM 517, Suite B
Dickinson, Texas 77539
P. O. Box 395, Dickinson, Texas 77539
Office: (281) 309-9500
Fax: (281) 534-6719
Toll Free: (877) 270-9500