A police standoff with an alleged US murderer in the northern sea of Vavaʻu has ended unsuccessfully police say.
Police were forced to pull out of a pursuit of the yacht, Sea Oak at 4.30pm yesterday Thursday 29.
“The escaped prisoner, Dean Jay Fletcher had fired several flares at the police boat in a 5-hour standoff. Fletcher was believed to be holding a bottle of benzene liquid and threatened to set fire to the police boat with the use of the inflammable benzene and flares”, Police said.
The police were not in a position to counter the threat and did not have the capacity to maintain the pursuit in open water, they said.
“The decision made by the police officers, to end the pursuit in all the circumstances was the right one, and now our energy goes into locating this desperate man and returning him to face justice for the charge of murder” says Commissioner Steve Caldwell.
International police services, Maritime networks and commercial flights have been alerted.
Police are appealing for public assistance on sightings of the yacht “SEA OAK”.