An extensive search for a suspected missing boat owner was carried out after a submerged speed boat was spotted off the coast of Torquay, Devon.
An angler reported seeing the wrecked vessel to the north of Hopes Nose, and rescue officers became concerned when they discovered the keys and a kill cord in place.
Torbay Coastguard, a search and rescue helicopter, Torbay Lifeboat, and Teignmouth Coastguard were involved in the early morning search, after the call came in at 5.55am on Wednesday, 20 July.
Three hours later, the search was stood down when the boat owner contacted police to say he was safe. It emerged that he had failed to restart his boat after rowing ashore the night before and walked home.
A Torbay Lifeboat spokesman said: ‘We were tasked at 05:57 following a report from an angler that he had observed a submerged small speed boat to the north of Hopes Nose.
‘A missing person search was initiated and other assets joined the search. Detailed search patterns established. Shortly after 09:00 the owner reported to the police that he was safe. All assets released to return to station shortly after 09:20.’
A coastguard spokesman said: ‘We became concerned as the keys and kill switch were in place and police were unable to contact the owner. We further tasked Teignmouth Coastguard and Lifeboat and our rescue helicopter to enable us to carry out a thorough search of the area.
‘We later discovered the owner had failed to restart his boat after rowing ashore the night before and walked home. All teams involved were stood down.’
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