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A MAN-overboard signal was not activated when yachtsman Sean Terry was lost en route to Madagascar – and safety equipment including a life ring and dinghy were found still on his yacht when it docked in the Seychelles.
His two laptops, with key information that could shed light on what happened to him, are, however, missing from the yacht.
These details and others emerged yesterday when Judith Middleton, spokeswoman for Terry’s family, tweeted about the case and released an e-mail statement on behalf of Terry’s relatives.
Terry, 48, who grew up in Cape Town and who has both a SA and British passport, arrived in the Maldives on May 8 and from there headed to the Chagos Islands five days later.
On June 18, Terry had left Chagos and a week later, his yacht arrived at Coëtivy, off Seychelles, with only Terry’s sole crew member, Stefan Pokorny, aboard.
Middleton tweeted that Pokorny, of Austria, who had been on board when Terry was allegedly lost overboard last month, was in police custody in the Seychelles.
He was expected to appear in a court there on Thursday.
In her statement, Middleton said: “The Terry family have just received information that Sean Terry’s laptops, as well as some other personal items, are missing from his yacht Finnegan.”
The family found this “extremely disturbing”, as she said his laptops held crucial information that would have aided those investigating what had happened to Terry.
It was not known how or when the items had gone missing.
“Sources in the Seychelles have said that Pokorny claimed he had seen Terry jump overboard in bad weather conditions. The family have dismissed this as completely ridiculous.
“Anyone who knows Sean or who has sailed with him will agree there is not even the remotest possibility that he would have jumped overboard. Pokorny is being held by the police because his story doesn’t add up,” Middleton said.
Yesterday, Middleton said Terry’s relatives had spoken to people on every boat that had been in Chagos when Terry had departed.
“They have all confirmed that he was in good spirits and looking forward to the journey. Sean was an extremely experienced yachtsman who had completed many solo expeditions and had great respect for the sea,” she said.
Middleton said Terry had planned to return to Cape Town for Christmas and his family had said he had been looking forward to this.
She said his family was doing everything in their power to help with the probe into what had happened to Terry.
On Wednesday, John Martin, who has taken part in several international yacht races, told the Cape Times that if a person died at sea, details of this needed to be logged.