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Mystery surrounds Washington couple held in Nicaragua

by Sail-World Cruising round-up on 15 Nov 2013
David and Leiann Scee - photo credit ABC News SW
Reports are in that a Washington couple, long range cruising sailors David and Leiann Scee, are being held in Nicaragua against their will.

The couple's family have reported to a Seattle news station, Komo News, that the couple was sailing from Hondorus to Costa Rica on a two year sailing holiday when their adventure got derailed.

David and Leiann told their daughter by telephone they may have to 'buy their way out.'

'I'm just trying to keep myself calm. Maybe it was all a big misunderstanding,' said Danielle Blagdon, Dave's daughter and Leiann's stepdaughter.

The Scees should be under sail on their way to Costa Rica, but in a hurried phone call Monday to her sister, Danielle learned they're being held in Nicaragua against their will.

The phone call was abrupt, so Danielle has no idea who's holding them or why. Dave Scee told his daugther they'd been stripped of their belonging and they need money.

Danielle says the US Embassy in Nicaragua has reached out.

Jeri Hubbard, a longtime family friend has been scouring social media and the couple's sailing blog for answers.

Scee called Danielle’s sister, Vanessa Scee, Monday morning saying that the couple had run into 'trouble with immigration and the military' in Nicaragua and needed her to deposit money into their bank accounts.

The U.S. State Department declined to offer details on the status or location of the Scees.

'We have been in contact with the family of the individuals in question,and we are working to confirm their safety,' a State Department official told ABC News.

The couple, in their mid-50s, have gone on extended sailing journeys before. They left in October for what was supposed to be a two-year trip, with three-month stops at various Central American ports, Danielle said.

The U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua declined to comment to US media outlets, saying only the U.S. State Department was authorized to comment. The Nicaraguan Consulates in Washington and New York also declined to comment.

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