Luke Stimson: Crews end search for missing sailor

Luke Stimson
Image caption Luke Stimson fell from his yacht in the Pacific Ocean

Rescue crews have ended their search for a British sailor who fell from a yacht in the Pacific Ocean.

Luke Stimson, 38, fell into the water almost 500 miles from land on Saturday night.

The US Coast Guard and Navy said they had suspended the search after 50 hours, pending new developments.

Mr Stimson, who worked as the Asian director of Shropshire firm David Austin Roses, has been described as a "remarkable person".

Prior to the search being called off, the firm said in a statement: "We are a very close company and all know Luke well, so it is a very worrying time."

"Our thoughts are with his family and we are hoping against hope that he will be found soon. He is a truly remarkable person and a much-valued employee.

'Energetic and passionate'

"He has been in Japan for the last three years and has done a tremendous amount of work to set up our new Japanese office and rose gardens."

The firm described Mr Stimson as an "energetic, resourceful, passionate person with a hands-on approach".

The coast guard said it was unclear why Mr Stimson, who was conscious and wearing a life jacket, fell overboard.

He and a British woman were the only two people on the yacht at the time.

She is described as an inexperienced sailor and was hoisted from the ship by a rescue helicopter on Sunday morning.

The 38ft vessel, believed to be privately owned, was about 2,000 miles west of the Hawaiian island of Oahu and 500 miles west of the Midway Atoll at the time.

The search is being conducted by Navy helicopters and the Coast Guard along with the warship USS Peleliu.

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