Fears grow for missing yachtsman

Missing sailor Jeffery Carl Hewitt

Missing sailor Jeffery Carl Hewitt - Credit: Archant

Police make urgent appeal to find sailor whose boat went ashore at Axmouth.

The yacht Louise being towed into Lyme Regis Harbour by the RNLI lifeboat. Photo by Richard Horobin

The yacht Louise being towed into Lyme Regis Harbour by the RNLI lifeboat. Photo by Richard Horobin - Credit: Archant

Police are becoming increasingly concerned for the welfare of a sailor whose yacht was washed ashore near Axmouth with no-one aboard.

In late September Jeffery Carl Hewitt purchased the 20ft sailing boat called ‘Louise’ which was moored at Torquay.

He returned to the area again in October and is believed to have departed Torquay Harbour between 10am and 11am on October 16.

The following day the boat ’Louise’ was found with no-one on board having washed up on a beach near Culverhole Point, east of Seaton.

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Police have so far not identified a next of kin or family of Mr Hewitt nor where he currently lives. He is believed to have links to the Midlands and London.

Mr Hewitt is described as a white male, 6’2” tall, in his mid 40s with fair, shaven, receding hair and blue eyes.

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Anyone who has information about him or may have been in contact with him during his time in Torquay is asked to contact the police on 101 quoting log number 308 of October 17, or by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Lifeboats from Sidmouth and Lyme Regis together with coastguards and their rescue helicopter were involved in the massive search of the area after the Louise went aground at Haven Cliff, East of Seaton.

Clothing was found on the beach near the yacht and an inflated lifejacket was also discovered nearby.

The lifeboats carried out a sweep of the coastline but found nothing.

Two Lyme Regis lifeboat crew members, John Cable and Tom Crabbe, swam ashore to assist coastguards checking the yacht.

After searching the coastline from Charton Bay to Exmouth the lifeboat towed the yacht five miles to the safety of Lyme Regis Harbour where a police officer was waiting.

Later coastguards requested another launching after a police helicopter reported what was believed to be an orange liferaft at Culverhole Point. The lifeboat crew discovered that the object was a lobster pot marker and the search was again called off.

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