Lost, really lost at sea

Last year I reported a sad story of a woman who had bought a quite expensive yacht and against all advice, decided to sail it home from where she had bought it in South Cornwall, from Mousehole, round Land’s End and up the north Cornwall coast to  Bideford in Devon. It seemed an extraordinary thing for a seemingly sensible person to undertake a dangerous solo voyage at night when she was so inexperienced and when she was strongly advised not to go. She was sixty-five, and had been a successful business woman, so maybe she was headstrong and used to getting her own way, but even so it began to seem a little mysterious that she should do something so risky.

Rumours began to circulate when the yacht disappeared  that maybe she had sailed somewhere else, then wreckage began to be found. A terrible tragedy… but as her body was not recovered, maybe, just maybe all was not what it seemed? Her poor husband and four children, waiting to hear good news must have been torn between dreading the worst, and hoping that by some fluke she had survived. Days went by and more bits and pieces were found, but not the woman… speculation arose… she had been in financial or other difficulties and the wrecking of the boat was part of a venture to start a new life… This must have been a ghastly time for her husband, he must have begun doubting and wondering.

I read this report on the BBC today:

 Mary Unwin: Missing yachtswoman ‘not believed to be alive’

A yachtswoman from north Devon who went missing at sea six months ago is not believed to be alive, police say. Mary Unwin disappeared last October while sailing her yacht, Seagair, from Mousehole in Cornwall to Bideford. Wreckage of the 32ft (9.7m) vessel was discovered near Sennen Cove, west Cornwall, three days after the 65-year-old was last seen. Devon and Cornwall Police said it was more than likely that she went down with her boat when it hit rocks.

Ona Mary Unwin

Mary Unwin was sailing round Land’s End at night when she disappeared

Mother-of-four Mrs Unwin was on a 130-mile (210km) journey after setting off at about 18:30 BST on Saturday 13 October. She was trying to sail around Land’s End on her own at night – despite warnings not to – after buying the £32,000 yacht in Falmouth. No body has ever been found.

Det Con Martin Hearn, from Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “With the witness accounts that we’ve got of Mrs Unwin’s sailing abilities, we would consider that she set sail while not having enough experience and, unfortunately, an accident is the most likely cause [of her death].”


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