THE BOYFRIEND of missing Brit Sarm Heslop has been pictured swigging beer on the deck of his plush yacht, as the FBI launched an investigation into her disappearance.
American Ryan Bane, 44, has so far refused to allow cops on the luxury liner and has declined to talk to detectives – despite his girlfriend vanishing over two weeks ago in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Former flight attendant Sarm, 41, went missing in the middle of the night after the couple returned to the $500,000 Siren Song catamaran following an evening dinner.
Bane claims he woke up at 2am to find his partner gone and said he could find no trace of her, before calling cops half an hour later.
The Michigan-born boat skipper has been holed up on the 47-foot vessel since March 8, docked in the paradisal St John, with his pet Labrador, Hunter.
He took a dinghy out to shore on Tuesday for supplies, including a six pack of beer, before returning to his on-the-water retreat.
On the advice of his legal representation, Bane has ignored pleas from police to allow them to conduct a fingertip search.
Authorities require a warrant to board the boat and have been unable to secure one as Sarm's disappearance is not yet classed as a criminal inquiry.
The sailor is not currently regarded as a suspect or a person of interest, despite him being the last person to see her alive.
Sarm's passport and cell phone, amongst other personal items, were reportedly left on the yacht.
The FBI has now intervened and have begun investigating Sarm's mysterious departure and plan to interview staff at the 420 to Center diner and bar in Cruz Bay on the island of St John, where the pair were last seen.
The news of the Bureau's eagerness to talk to employees comes as one of Bane's pals revealed the skipper is "scared" as he does not trust local police investigating the matter.
One of his friends in the US Virgin Islands told The Sun: "I have spoken to Ryan and told him he should make a statement and be as cooperative as possible.
“He is scared, he’s totally spun out, particularly when people come pointing fingers at him.”
The friend added: "I don’t see why the police shouldn’t search the boat.
"His concern is that he believes the VI Police Department will not conduct the investigation with clarity.
"He is concerned if something is spun the wrong way that they are going to be looking for something to implicate him as opposed to the other way around.
"If he’s is at fault, I want justice for Sarm. But I find it hard to believe that’s the case. I believe people who do harmful things don’t show grief like he has."
The couple met on Tinder eight months ago in Grenada before embarking on a trip around the Virgin Islands just weeks ago.
Bane's friend explained, "He’s bereaved. I’ve known him for a long time and I’ve never known him be violent.
"He is not running from anything, he’s just super overwhelmed and looking how to proceed. He’s wondering what’s going to happen.
"In Sarm, he finally thought he had found a woman he could stick with for a while."
Bane rents the Siren Song out for $1,500 a night, that offers three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and sleeps six people.
The pair are believed to have organised at least ten bookings for the coming season, amounting to around $100,000.
It is feared Southampton-born Sarm could have fallen overboard and may have been swept out by powerful rip currents.
A huge land and sea search mission, incorporating divers, helicopters and an island-wide appeal, has been launched in a bid to find her.
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