Missing Alfriston man was ‘experienced yachtman’, wife says

The yacht at Brighton Marina. Picture by Eddie Mitchell
The yacht at Brighton Marina. Picture by Eddie Mitchell

Police are now treating the disappearance of an Alfriston yachtman as a missing person inquiry.

Sussex Police has named the man as Len King, 74, from Alfriston.

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Mr King’s boat was found at Brighton Marina last night, with no-one on board.

After extensive search by the coastguard and three RNLI crews, the search was suspended.

Talking of his disappearance his wife Stephanie said, “Len is an experienced yachtman and has been sailing since he was at least 20.

“Normally we go together but during the week if its calm weather he may go off by himself. He went off just before lunch. I was expecting him home for dinner time.

“I phoned him several times but his phone was unable to connect so I thought he was on his way back. I called the person who has a boat next to us and he thought we were away.

“I can’t understand what has happened. He is a very experienced yachtman. He has all his equipment doubled up and is always careful. That is the way he runs things.”

Insp Roy Apps said, “It is an anxious time for the family. The search is currently suspended and we are liaising with his family as we investigate the circumstances of his disappearance.

“An experienced seaman Mr King had left Brighton Marina on his yacht on Sunday afternoon and it is unclear as to what has happened to him. A friend reported him missing to the Coastguard at around 9.50pm last night as he had not returned home. His Sunseeker boat was then found unmanned near the harbour wall at Brighton Marina.

“An extensive search was carried out by the Shoreham and Newhaven Coastguard Rescue teams, Shoreham, Newhaven and Brighton lifeboats along with the Coastguard helicopter from Lee-on Solent and this has now been suspended until new information comes to light.

“We are at an early stage of our investigation and we are liaising closely with Mr King’s family while we make enquiries.”