Concern for missing sailor Jeffrey Hewitt after his new boat washed up near Lyme Regis

Police are appealing for anyone who had contact with a sailor named Jeffrey Hewitt in the Torquay area to come forward.

Concern is growing for Mr Hewitt, who hasn’t been seen since setting sail in his new yacht. The boat has since washed up unmanned.

Anyone who saw Mr Hewitt in the Torquay area during or after the purchase of his boat and up to his embarkation at the Town Dock on Thursday 16 October 2014 is asked to get in touch with Devon and Cornwall Police.

Mr Hewitt is described as a white male, 6’2″ in his mid 40’s with fair shaven, receding hair and blue eyes.
It is known that he purchased a 20ft sailing boat called ‘Louise‘, moored at Torquay on 28 September 2014, during a visit.

He left shortly after to return to the area again on 7 October and stayed until 16 October when he is known to have sailed from Torquay Harbour between 10-11am.

Later that same day Louise was found with no one on board, having washed up on a beach just west of Lyme Regis during what were believed to be heavy seas.
Police are appealing for anyone who had contact with Mr Hewitt during this time as they may be in possession of useful information.

The yacht Louise is a Hurley 20 with a blue hull.

It was found at Culverhole Point on 17 October.

Signs of
recent occupancy and activity on-board raised concerns that the yacht’s
owner may have gone overboard.

An RNLI spokesman said an inflated lifejacket was found nearby.

The Lyme
Regis inshore lifeboat, the Sidmouth independent lifeboat and the Lyme Regis
and Sidmouth Coastguard Rescue team as well as Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 106
searched the coastline from Charton Bay to Exmouth but to no avail.

Steven Mann, Coastguard
in charge of coordinating the search, said: ‘Given the uncertainty of the
situation, we are very keen to hear from the owner of this yacht if he is safe
and well.’

If anyone believes they have had any contact with Mr Hewitt then it is requested they ring Devon and Cornwall Police on 101 quoting Log 308 of 17/10/14.

Picture: Lyme Regis RNLI towing the yacht Louise. Credit: RNLI/Lyme Regis