Duncan Lougee: Fears grow for missing Transatlantic sailor after yacht found with nobody onboard
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Concerns are growing for a missing 70-year-old Transatlantic sailor, whose yacht was discovered drifting with no one on board. Duncan Lougee, from Essex, went missing on June 18 after setting sail from Plymouth around midday.
He was due to arrive in Baltimore, Ireland four days later on June 22, but there had been no contact since his departure, prompting a search to be launched. The search was called off after the yacht was found off the coast of Cornwall on Thursday.
However, the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency said he was not on board and his boat was reportedly found 70 miles (113km) north west off Trevose Head.
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 to 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 inquiries 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 are currently no new searches planned by Coastguard.”
Lougee, who lived in Dedham near Colchester, was reportedly taking part in the single-handed sailing challenge. He has previously completed the same trip successfully and was planning to sail the route via the Isles of Scilly.
He had also undertaken many miles of sailing, including single-handedly crossing the Atlantic Ocean and was described as an “experienced yacht broker, boat builder and sailor.”
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.”