Texas woman vanishes while snorkeling off Curacao; local coast guard suspends search

A Texas woman vanished while snorkeling off the northwestern coast of Curacao last week, and the local coast guard stopped looking for her after three days of fruitless searching, authorities reported Monday.

Amanda Waller was last seen Thursday while swimming back to Curacao's popular Cas Abao beach. It's not known whether the 29-year-old woman from Katy, Texas, who was on a snorkeling excursion with her husband and a group of friends, made it to shore.

Coast Guard spokesman Roderick Gouverneur said the search for Waller was suspended at nightfall Saturday after a boat, helicopter and twin-engine plane were unable to find any sign of her after surveying a large expanse of water.

"People with boats in the area and also local divers helped with this search but in vain," Gouverneur said.

The U.S. consulate in Curacao did not immediately provide comment.

Terri Youngs, part of the roughly 20-person group vacationing on Curacao that included Waller and her husband, told KHOU-TV in Houston that the Texas woman signaled at least one fellow snorkeler that she was going back to shore.

"But no one ever saw her come ashore," Youngs told the station.

Sitting about 40 miles off Venezuela, Curacao is an autonomous country of about 150,000 people within the Dutch kingdom and is best known for its diving opportunities and a historic capital that is a U.N. World Heritage site. It is also an offshore financial center and a transshipment point for narcotics from South America bound for the U.S. and Europe.


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