A British man who went missing in December after the ‘inexperienced’ sailor set off for a solo adventure around the world has been found dead on a yacht off Jamaica.
42-year-old Mark Brennan from South Shields had been reported missing nearly two months ago before his 30ft Avrio sailing boat was seen drifting 71 miles off the Caribbean island on Monday.
Coastguards said they found a decomposing body in the hull and towed it into the Errol Flynn Marina in Port Antonio, where police confirmed it was Mr Brennan.
Mr Brennan left the UK on December 6 for the ‘trip of a lifetime’, according to local police, before sailing across the Atlantic to Barbados and then heading 162 miles to Grenada.
He was reported missing 10 days later, when he was struggling for fuel and without a radio, phone or dinghy, according to The Sun.
Mr Brennan’s mother, Marjorie, 69, said: ‘He’s been found and that’s very upsetting. We’re waiting for the results of an autopsy.’
Jamaican coastguard reportedly tracked down the sailing boat after being alerted to the presence of a British-flagged vessel by colleagues in the US.
‘The coast guard contacted us about the vessel and after members of our force entered the boat we found a lifeless male body in there,’ a Jamaican defence force official said.
‘We transported the body on to land and the matter is now being investigated by the local police. A post mortem will be carried to establish the cause of death.’
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: ‘We are supporting the family of a British man reported as missing in the Caribbean, and are in contact with the Jamaican authorities.’
A Northumbria Police spokesman also added ‘We can confirm a 42-year-old from South Shields was reported missing on December 21 after he had set sail to the Caribbean.
‘Enquiries have been ongoing to trace him, and we have since been made aware that authorities in Jamaica have recovered a body on a boat.
‘A formal identification process is ongoing but it is suspected that the body is that of the South Shields man.
‘The relevant authorities in Jamaica are carrying out enquiries to establish the cause of death and we will continue to support their investigation in conjunction with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
‘The man’s family are being offered support by officers and they have requested that their privacy is respected at this time.’