Husband to start own search for wife presumed lost at sea

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Lewis Bennett told WPTV he planned to fly today to Cuba, then obtain a boat. He said his family was “distraught” and he felt he had to do something to help find Hellmann.

The Palm Beach Post has attempted to talk to both Bennett and relatives of Hellman for more than a week.

Hellmann, 41, was reported missing in the early morning of May 15 in the Atlantic about 70 miles southeast of Key West, according to the Coast Guard, which suspended its search for her late Thursday.

She was on a two-week vacation with Bennett, who told authorities he was sleeping below deck at about 1:30 a.m. Monday and awoke after the boat struck something, then went topside, but did not see his wife.

Bennett left the sinking boat in a life raft and was recovered at about 4:30 a.m. that morning, about 1,000 yards from the vessel and in water 4,800 feet deep, and flown to Marathon. Bennett told investigators Hellmann was wearing a life vest the last time he saw her, not long after the catamaran left Cuba at 8 p.m. Sunday.

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