Cornwall police statement on missing yacht skipper Duncan Lougee

Missing yacht Minke was located on Thursday 29 June by the Ireland Coastguard 70 miles off the coast of Cornwall. Credit: Portishead Coastguard Rescue Team

No new searches are planned for the skipper of a yacht that went missing last week.

Duncan Lougee, 70, from Colchester, Essex, left Plymouth aboard his yacht Minke on 18 June and was expected to arrive in Baltimore, Ireland, four days later.

However, when he did not turn up on time, search teams swung into action and yesterday his boat was found by the Ireland Coastguard, 70 miles off the Cornish coast.

Today, Devon and Cornwall Police confirmed Mr Lougee was not aboard the vessel when it was located and there had been no fresh entries in the ship's journal for at least nine days.

He remains a missing person, but the coastguard said the search for him had been stood down.

It has been confirmed that missing skipper Duncan Lougee was not onboard the vessel. Credit: Clarke and Carter

Detective Inspector Daniel Massey said: “Yacht Minke has been brought to shore and is currently docked in Padstow Harbour.

"We continue to liaise with partners including The Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Marine Accident Investigation Branch, and The Coroner’s Office in relation this matter.

“Whilst Mr Lougee remains officially a missing person, responsibility of searches in open water sits with the Coastguard.

"However, yacht Minke has been missing since it left Plymouth on Sunday 18 June, and initial enquiries appear to show no fresh entries in the ships journal for at least nine days.

“Therefore, due to the potentially vast and prohibitive area of search at sea, at this time there is currently no new searches planned by Coastguard.”

A spokesperson from HM Coastguard said: “Extensive searches were carried out and coordinated by HM Coastguard and the yacht found.

"The search was terminated once it became clear that the period of survivability had passed.”

DI Massey added: “This matter will remain under review and if any fresh information comes to light, this will be assessed accordingly.

"We have informed the family of these initial updates and our thoughts are with them at this time; the family of Duncan Lougee have asked for privacy."