Missing Plymouth yacht found without skipper onboard

Credit: Clarke and Carter

Duncan Lougee, from Ipswich, is missing after attempting to travel from Plymouth to Ireland in his yacht.
It has been confirmed that missing skipper Duncan Lougee was not onboard the vessel. Credit: Clarke and Carter

A missing yacht from Devon has been located off the coast of Cornwall, without its skipper onboard.

Duncan Lougee from Dedham in north Essex was taking part in a solo challenge, with a plan to sail from Plymouth to Ireland via the Isles of Scilly.

The vessel, called Minke, was expected to arrive in Ireland, on 22 June after leaving Plymouth on the 18 June.

On Thursday 29 June, coastguard rescue teams across the UK issued an appeal for anyone who might have seen the vessel, 11 days after it left Plymouth.

It was found later that day by search and rescue teams, approximately 70 miles North West of Trevose Head, Cornwall.

A statement from Maritime and Coast Guard Agency said: "The search for the yacht Minke and its skipper, who was taking part in the single-handed Jester Challenge, from Plymouth to Baltimore, Ireland, has been stood down.

"The yacht was found yesterday (29 June) approx. 70 miles North West of Trevose Head, Cornwall, sadly the skipper was not on the vessel."

In a statement, Ireland's Coast Guard rescue boat RESCUE117 said: "Vessel overdue update: Our sister ship, Waterford based RESCUE117 has found the Minke, unfortunately there is no trace of crew on board."

Belfast Coastguard added: "Vessel has been located, enquiries still ongoing."

Devon and Cornwall Police said they were aware that the missing yacht Minke had been located yesterday (29 June).

A force spokesman said: "It appears that no one was on the vessel and therefore the boats skipper Duncan Lougee remains missing.

"The Minke is due to be brought to shore and Coastguard will continue searches in the area. Mr Lougee’s next of kin has been informed of this update."