Missing Yachts- One Found, One Search Called Off

Approximate presumed route of the Blessed Be
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Two missing yachts, one off Cornwall and one off the east coast of Australia have had unhappy conclusions this week. In Australia, the search has been called off for yacht Blessed Be overdue since the 23rd August on a journey from Fiji to Australia.

In Cornwall the body of yachtsman believed to be solo sailor Martyn Hayes has been found on board his boat Mardin, run aground at Millendreath, near Looe yesterday


Blessed Be - photo courtesy AMSA
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The Blessed Be had contacted both family and Australian Customs reporting that they had had a knock-down in gale force winds but were okay. They also said they were trailing drogues to cut down the speed of their yacht and were heading further north, perhaps arriving at Bundaberg instead of further south.

The disappearance of the Blessed Be caused a major search along the Australian coastline with 14 aircraft involved and three helicopters.

Because the yacht was carrying, not only a satphone and an EPIRB, but was equipped with email, HF and VHF radios, life raft and other safety gear, it is a mystery that no Mayday was called by the yacht.

Martyn Hayes
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The man found dead on a boat in Cornwall yesterday is believed to be missing Abbotskerswell yachtsman Martyn Hayes, of Abbotskerswell pictured here, was discovered on board his 26 foot yacht after a search by authorities.

Martyn's father Derek confirmed he had been told his 51-year-old son's yacht has been found run aground and a body was on board.

Looe inshore lifeboat discovered the boat after being alerted by a member of the public. Paramedics were also called to the scene.
Police confirmed they were called to the yacht and a man in his 50s was found dead on board. Officers are investigating the circumstances of the death but they are not thought to be suspicious.

Fiona Iris, watch officer at Brixham Coastguards, said: 'Tamar coastguard rescue team, Plymouth RNLI inshore lifeboat, a Sea King helicopter from RMB Chivenor, Looe RNLI lifeboat, Looe coastguard rescue team, Hope Cove coastguard rescue team, the warship Manchester and MOD police were all involved in the search for the missing yacht.' The yacht was yesterday being towed back to Looe.

Yacht Mardin
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Martyn, who worked at Pool Farm Pork in Ipplepen, was last seen on Friday on board his boat. He failed to turn up to man a stall at Aveton Gifford food market on Saturday. The alarm was raised by Martyn's father after he then failed to arrive at work on Monday morning.

After being notified Mr Hayes was missing, Brixham Coastguards coordinated an air and sea search with Tamar Coastguard Rescue Team, Plymouth RNLI inshore lifeboat and a search and rescue helicopter from RAF Chivenor.