Unsolved Mysteries Wiki
Yves emmanuel1a

Yves-Emmanuel (left) and Laurent Hernas (right)

Real Name: Yves-Emmanuel Pain and Laurent Hernas
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Date: November 1991


Occupation: Sailors
Date of Birth: 1954 (Emmanuel) / August 13, 1966 (Hernas)
Height: 6'1" (Emmanuel)
Weight: Unrevealed
Marital Status: Unrevealed
Characteristics: Caucasian males, brown hair (Both)


Details: At 10:30 pm on December 22, 1991, a speeding car was pulled over along a highway that led to the local marina in Goose Creek, South Carolina. Inside the car were three men; when the officer asked for their license and registration, no one responded. After asking again, the man in the back seat said something in Spanish to the driver; the driver then handed the officer a passport. After running the information on the passport, the officer told the driver to drive carefully, to which he received no response.
The next day, the officer was surprised to discover that the two front passengers of the car, thirty-seven-year-old Yves-Emmanuel Pain and his twenty-four-year-old friend, Laurent Hernas, had been reported missing at sea and that the Coast Guard had been searching for them for over a month.

Hernas and pain travel plan

Intended travel path of the Antigua

The two men were French sailors who had been hired to convoy a French-made sailboat to new owners. In October 1991, they had embarked on a twenty-five-hundred mile voyage from Annapolis, Maryland, to Guadeloupe in the West Indies. The vessel was a state-of-the-art Antigua catamaran worth $200,000; it had high tech radar, a satellite tracking unit, and electronic navigational equipment. The Antigua's design made it virtually unsinkable and also undetectable by radar. This type of vessel would be ideal for a drug or weapons trafficker.
The sailors planned to sail down the Chesapeake Bay, around Cape Hatteras, parallel to the U.S. East Coast before going to their final destination in Guadeloupe. When the vessel failed to arrive as scheduled, the Coast Guard was notified. They searched for over two weeks, but there were no sightings of the vessel along its course.
Surprisingly, the vessel was spotted several times; however, it was seen several miles off course in the Intracoastal Waterway. This waterway is an inland passage that goes from New England to Florida; there is no explanation for why the boat was there. In December 1991, two of Yves-Emmanuel's friends flew from France to South Carolina to investigate their disappearances. They started by re-tracing the vessel's route; their first stop was a bridge ninety miles north of Charleston, South Carolina. The bridge tender remembered seeing the two missing sailors along with a third man.
A third man was not supposed to be on the vessel; however, he was sighted by at least five different witnesses. According to the witnesses, the man did not appear threatening, which led some to theorize that one or both of the sailors had been involved in stealing the boat. However, their families and friends dismiss this scenario; they do not believe that they would ever be involved in illegal activity. Yves-Emmanuel's friend Jean Yves Lallinec is convinced that the stranger, perhaps aided by an armed and hidden accomplice, hijacked the Antigua. Jean believes that the individual did not know how to sail the boat, so he kept the two sailors on-board.
Yves-Emmanuel Pail and Laurent Hernas were last seen on the Antigua approximately thirty miles south of Charleston, South Carolina. Five weeks later, the two sailors were pulled over in Goose Creek; it is possible that the mysterious third passenger was holding them hostage from the back seat of the car. However, it is also possible that the two men fooled everyone and made off with the Antigua.
A third possibility is that the French sailors unintentionally sailed into Cuban waters and are being held in a Cuban prison. However, there is no evidence to support this theory and the case remains unsolved.
Suspects: The mysterious third man seen in the car and on the boat is considered a possible suspect in the case.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the September 7, 1994 episode.
Results: Unsolved. Yves-Emmanuel's cousin, Jean Michael Pain, along with Coast Guard investigators are still searching for information in this case.