GPS Data from Missing Millionaire's Boat Suggests Jump to Another Boat, Experts Say


From there, the boast drifted southwest with speeds no greater than 3 miles per hour before it washed up on the beach and was eventually towed back to an inlet.

"The track, from where it starts, to the loop before it starts to drift west, looks like someone looking for something," Spaulding told "The squiggly areas, where the vessel slows and veers around, is likely [so that someone is able] to talk on the cellphone -- very, very difficult, if not impossible, at high speed."

When Aguiar dramatically slowed his speed, he did a 360-degree spin and then veered three times from his relatively straight northeast trajectory.

"Something distracted him there," Spaulding said. He theorized that Aguiar may have been on the phone or veering to avoid wind or the night's stormy weather.

After the three bumps, Aguiar picked up speed again until he made a dramatic right turn and then the boat moved diagonally, forming a small triangle, before it began its slow drift back to shore.

Both Spaulding and Pickersgill interpreted this triangle as an unusual maneuver.

"There's a recognizable pattern in the GPS speed and data spots to indicate that if this person were to have stopped to transfer to another boat, this is where it could have happened," Pickersgill said. "It looks to me as if we've got a transfer point."

Spaulding echoed his thoughts. "It just so looks like he was looking for something in that direction," he said.

Police said that detectives had found "no evidence to suggest the boat ever came to a complete stop in the Atlantic Ocean," but Pickersgill said a full stop would not be required for a transfer.

"A transfer would not involve stopping the boat in the ocean," he said. "As a master mariner, the way you do that is to bring the boat slow and kind of tuck it up into the waves, into the wind in that direction. The transfer comes alongside and one quick jump and the other boat is kept running. It looks like it was in neutral to drift ashore."

He said that the boat's southwest trajectory after the triangle is consistent with the current in that area.

When the boat washed up, the engine was running and the lights were on. The only damage reported by police was a broken tie rod, the metal rod that connects the boat's two engines.

Click here to see the boat's route as it washed ashore.

"That's a hard thing to break," Spaulding said. "You'd have to hit an engine real hard, just one. If it came up aside another boat, did it bang one of the engines?"

Pickersgill said the break could have also happened upon impact with the beach.

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