British yachtsman's body 'found floating' off Caribbean island

Police in the Caribbean island of St Vincent have launched a murder inquiry after a 53-year-old British man was found dead on a burned out life raft after his yacht was destroyed by fire. The police commissioner said he "suspected foul play".

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Family 'thought Caribbean death was tragic accident'

A map shows St Vincent in the Caribbean. Credit: Google Maps

The daughter of a British man found dead on a burned out life raft in the Caribbean has said her family believed his death to be a "tragic accident" and was unaware that it was being investigated as suspicious.

Police are reportedly looking for John Garner's Norwegian wife after a murder investigation was launched into his death.

Mr Garner's daughter Elizabeth, 37, told the MailOnline that her stepmother had left St Vincent two days before Mr Garner to return to Norway to look after her young children.

She said: "This is a shock for everybody. We have not been told that this is being treated as suspicious. As far as we have been told, it is being treated as a tragic accident."

Witness: Garner 'had lacerations to face and legs'

Diver Kay Wilson, who has lived in St Vincent and the Grenadines for 12 years, was out on a dive trip when one of her crew members spotted smoke on the horizon at around 11.45am local time on Wednesday.

She told Daybreak via Skype: "What I was able to see, he had lacerations to his face and severe lacerations to his legs.

"Every indication was that there had been a series of explosions. There was debris downwind from the vessel.

"The victim's liferaft - he tried to deploy it but from what we could see it hadn't deployed correctly and because of its proximity to the boat and the heat coming downwind, the heat had melted part of the liferaft."

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Police 'suspect foul play' after British sailor's death

Police have now launched a murder investigation and are understood to be searching for a woman named Heidi Hukkelaas, reportedly his wife, with whom he flew to St Vincent on January 19.

St Vincent police commissioner Michael Charles said Mr Garner's death was being treated as suspicious and that investigators were looking at "all lines of inquiry", the Daily Mail said.

Mr Charles said:

We suspect foul play and will investigate the matter fully.

Miss Hukkelaas is a person of interest and as with every murder investigation we have to look at everyone and everything and will leave no stones unturned.

British sailor 'found dead on burned out life raft'

A British sailor has been found dead on a burned out life raft after his yacht was destroyed by fire in the Caribbean, it was reported.

The body of John Garner, 53, was discovered on the raft by the coastguard off St Vincent on Wednesday afternoon.

He had reportedly suffered injuries to his head and both legs and was taken to the island's Milton Cato Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police have now launched a murder investigation and are understood to be searching for a woman named Heidi Hukkelaas, reportedly his wife, with whom he flew to St Vincent on January 19.

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