Border Force found more than £12million-worth of drugs on the yacht

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is to manage an investigation into the death of a Dutch skipper following an incident on a yacht moored in the Scilly Isles.

The man, believed to be 62, was aboard the Windrose when it was boarded by Border Force officers on Monday, 17 June.

The man died in Treliske Hospital in Truro, Cornwall. The cause of his death has not been established but information provided by Border Force suggested he fell or jumped from the boat’s mast.

Border Force officers referred the death to the IPCC, and following an assessment of the information provided, it has been decided that the IPCC will oversee an externally-managed investigation by Devon and Cornwall police.

Preliminary investigatory work has already been carried out by Devon and Cornwall and efforts are being made to contact members of any family the man, believed to be from the Netherlands, may have.

The Windrose was later searched by Border Force officers at Newlyn harbour in Cornwall and, according to the force; 124kg of a substance believed to be cocaine was recovered, with an estimated street value of £12,400,000.

Initially the Border Force had estimated the amount of drugs to be 200kg with an estimated street value of £20million.

This was based on the size of the packages as they were unloaded from the boat. Once they were opened and tested in a lab, the weight was found to be 124kg.

IPCC Commissioner Jennifer Izekor said: ‘The IPCC investigation will focus on the contact between UK Border Force officers and the deceased, and examine the events leading up to his death to ensure that all relevant policies and procedures including adequate risk assessments were followed.’

The IPCC is not investigating any issues relating to the substances retrieved from the Windrose – that is being handled by the Border Force.

Pictures: The Windrose yacht. Credit: Chris Hall