Canoeist turns up after vanishing five years ago
Monday 03 December 2007
A man who vanished and was presumed to have drowned while canoeing in the North Sea more than five years ago has walked into a London police station.
John Darwin, a married father of two children, was last seen entering the sea in his kayak in the Tees Bay area on the morning of 21 March, 2002. He was not reported missing until that evening, when he failed to turn up for a night shift at Holme House prison where he worked as a prison officer.
His disappearance prompted a massive rescue operation, involving six RNLI lifeboats, three inshore lifeboats, a Royal Navy ship, an RAF helicopter and a police spotter plane with heat-seeking detection equipment.
Emergency teams soon recovered a canoe paddle but, after 16 hours, the search was called off.
Mr Darwin was an experienced canoeist and, at the time, coastguards described his disappearance as "a complete mystery".
A week later, the shattered remains of his distinctive red canoe were found washed up on a beach at Seaton Carew, near Hartlepool. But there was no trace of the missing man, who was then aged 51.
Last night, however, Cleveland Police announced that, on Saturday evening, Mr Darwin had walked into the West End Central Police Station in London.
A spokesman said: "Mr Darwin is fit and well and relatives have been informed of his whereabouts. It is not known at this time where he has spent the last five-and-a-half years."
Mr Darwin's disappearance devastated his family. His wife Anne, a receptionist, watched the fruitless search operation from the window of the family home, which the couple had chosen for its commanding view of the North-east coast.
Six month months after her husband vanished, she told a local newspaper: "The view from my window is a daily reminder. This was to be the house of our dreams and I have just got to look out and not dwell on the tragedy."
She said: "People die, have a funeral, they have a headstone, there is something to mark the fact they existed on this earth. But without a body, I don't know how we can mark John's life.
"All I want is to bury his body. It would enable me to move on. It's difficult to grieve without bringing things to a close, but as it is I'm in limbo and there's nothing I can do
A spokesman for the Metropolitan police said that a 57 year old man had presented himself at a London police station and identified himself as a missing person.
"He has been identified by his family," he said.
- 1 Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
- 3 Arturo Vidal to Manchester United: Midfielder set to force through move to Louis van Gaal's Red Devils - reports
- 4 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
Justin Bieber posts Instagram photo of Orlando Bloom crying after Ibiza fight 'over Miranda Kerr'
Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
- < Previous
- Next >
£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...