Cornwall

Wreckage found in Cornwall missing yachtswoman Mary Unwin search

  • 15 October 2012
  • From the section Cornwall
Ona Mary Unwin
Mary Unwin left Falmouth on her own in the yacht on Friday

Coastguards have found what they think is wreckage of a yacht in the search for a missing 65-year-old yachtswoman.

The wreckage found at Sennen Cove came during an air and sea search off the north Cornwall coast for Mary Unwin.

She has been missing since she set sail from Mousehole, in Cornwall, on Saturday evening for her home in Bideford in north Devon.

Relatives in Bideford raised the alarm on Sunday. Coastguards said the wreckage was being analysed.

She bought the £32,000 Seagair in Falmouth last Thursday.

Mrs Unwin left Falmouth on her own in the yacht on Friday without collecting the paperwork.

She was advised by the sellers Falmouth Yacht Brokers not to make the trip on her own.

Jayne Hobkirk, of Falmouth Yacht Brokers, said Mrs Unwin had appeared on Thursday with her husband and paid for the boat with a banker's draft.

"She said she had a captain's ticket, but it sounded like she hadn't done any sailing for many years," she said.

"I told her to get a refresher course, but that would normally take some days."

Seagair
The £32,000 yacht was sold by a Falmouth brokerage on Thursday

'Big area to search'

Lifeboats from Penlee, Sennen and St Ives and helicopters from RNAS Culdrose and RMB Chivenor have joined the search.

Coastguards have also been searching harbours around the coast for the Seagair which is white with a blue stripe along its hull.

Steve Huxley, search and rescue manager at Falmouth Coastguard, said: "The woman departed Mousehole on Saturday evening on board her newly-purchased vessel.

"We understand that she was heading for Bideford. We have been unable to find her and are very concerned for her safety."

The Seagair, built in 1985, was described by the brokers as having been "maintained in excellent condition" and "in great condition for her age".

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