Border Force officers were aboard when the Dutch skipper fatally fell
A yacht where a skipper fatally fell from the mast during a raid by border officials had drugs with a
street value of around £20million on board.
The Border Force raided the 11m (36ft) Windrose on Monday 17 June after it was towed into St Mary’s quayside, Isles of Scilly, by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution
(RNLI) lifeboat the day before.
The skipper, believed to be a 62-year-old Dutch national, had been rescued after getting into difficulty nine miles south
west of Bishop Rock Lighthouse.
The single-handed yachtsman fell from the mast during the raid. He was airlifted to hospital in Truro but died later from his injuries.
St Mary’s Harbourmaster Dale Clark described the incident as a ‘very
sad, shocking tragedy’ and dismissed reports that there had been a chase
before the fall.
The vessel was taken to Newlyn in Cornwall, where a search found 200kgs of the Class A drug cocaine.
A Border Force spokesman said: ‘Following a search of the yacht, Windrose, in Newlyn, Cornwall, a substantial quantity of cocaine, thought to be approximately 200 kilos, was discovered.
‘It is estimated that if cut and sold in the UK the drugs could have had a potential street value of around £20million.
‘The drugs have now been removed from the Windrose and taken to a secure location for further analysis. An investigation is ongoing.’
The incident has been referred to the Independent Police
Complaints Commission (IPCC), which investigates public bodies with policing powers, which is yet to decide if a full investigation is necessary.