Fears grow for miss­ing yachts­man

South Wales Echo - - National -

AN ex­pe­ri­enced sailor has not been heard from af­ter six days at sea amid calm weather con­di­tions, leav­ing friends “com­pletely flum­moxed”.

Robin Davie, 67, was ex­pected back at his home port of Fal­mouth in Corn­wall on Tues­day, hav­ing set off on a 300-mile jour­ney from Les Sables d’Olonne in western France last Satur­day.

The yachts­man, who has sailed solo around the world three times, is un­der­stood to have a hand­held very high fre­quency (VHF) ra­dio with a range of around seven to 10 miles, which could con­tact pass­ing ships.

Fal­mouth Coast­guard is­sued an alert to all ships in the area on Wed­nes­day morn­ing af­ter Mr Davie’s brother Rick re­ported him as over­due, but so far no dis­tress sig­nals have been de­tected.

Yacht­ing jour­nal­ist Barry Pick­thall, who has known Mr Davie for al­most 30 years, said: “We’re just com­pletely flum­moxed, be­cause the weather has been so be­nign.

“It’s one of the busi­est ship­ping lanes in the world, it’s just re­ally sur­pris­ing no-one has spot­ted him. He’s just dis­ap­peared.”

Mr Davie is un­der­stood to have a life raft on board with a ra­dio and GPS. He had vis­ited the French port to have his yacht, the Rustler 36 C’est La Vie, re­fit­ted with a new mast and rig­ging.

A HM Coast­guard spokes­woman said: “HM Coast­guard has been is­su­ing broad­casts to all ship­ping and will con­tinue to sup­port the French Coast Guard.”

BARRY PICK­THALL/PPA

Yachts­man Robin Davie had set off on a solo cross-Chan­nel voy­age from Les Sables d’Olonne in France to Fal­mouth

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