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Sailor Jeff Cole disappeared while sailing to Swanage last month
5:28pm Friday 4th October 2013 in News
The body of missing sailor Jeff Cole has been found.
Mr Cole disappeared while saling his yacht Palmina from Weymouh to Swanage of September 23.
The unmanned yacht was found on the French coastline between Dieppe and Fecamp.
Mr Cole’s body was recovered by emergency services from Sandy Cove, east of Ladram Bay near Sidmouth.
Officers were initially called at just after 2pm yesterday. And coastguard teams from Exmouth and Beer were also among the first to attend.
The Devon Air Ambulance landed nearby but was unable to recover the body.
And a four-man Sidmouth Lifeboat crew made attempts to reach him but despite their efforts trying to back the boat into shore, due to the high tide and severity of the waves, the team were forced back.
Portland Helicopter was then requested as coastguards had hoped they would be able to recover the body, either from the cliff top, or via a helicopter winch.
But due to the weather conditions and the height of the tide, this too proved impossible.
Due to the high-risk involved, a four-man coastguard team and police officer remained watching over the man's body to make sure he did not drift out to sea.
A team of around 18 coastguards then re-grouped at low tide around midnight to make the recovery and stretcher the man to shore.
The 62-year-old left Castle Cove Sailing Club on the morning of September 21 at 7am intending to sail to Swanage but never arrived.
The cruiser was found at Veulettes-sur-Mer on the Monday morning. There was no sign of Mr Cole. French authorities launched a search and rescue operation but there was no sign of the skipper.
The investigation is still ongoing.
Speaking to the Echo at bhe time Mr Cole's daughter Sam said she now feared the worst.
She said: “He adored sailing and it's my belief that he has passed away doing something he absolutely adored.
“It was a journey he did many a time.
“His charts have been kept immaculately.”
“It must have been something very sudden and immediate.”
Dorset Police confirmed that the body was identified as that of Mr Cole and that next of kin had been informed.
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