A love-lorn sailor has been detained by border officials after trying to sail into Plymouth to find his “holiday sweetheart” - despite admitting she has no interest in him.
Ramazan Culum was intercepted when his yacht reached British waters off Plymouth on Friday evening, having sailed through stormy seas from his homeland of Turkey in pursuit of romance.
The 38-year-old, who said he would go on hunger strike to convince the British woman - named on his website as Courtney Murray - of his love for her, is awaiting deportation after his latest grand gesture was foiled.
Mr Culum said his quest has seen him imprisoned and spending time in a mental hospital since the chance encounter with the woman eight years ago.
Writing on his personal website, he said: "In September 2005, I went to northern Cyprus for a scuba diving trip. I met by chance (a woman) in Kyrenia. Then my whole life changed. Because, I loved her but she didn't want me."
Ms Murray was working in a restaurant, but is thought to have returned to the UK and got married.
The Home Office confirmed a 38-year-old man was intercepted by the Border Force cutter HMC Valiant late on Friday in the sea off Devon.
The yacht was towed to Turnchapel marina in Plymouth and the man, who was the sole sailor on board, was arrested and questioned.
He was found to have no right to enter the UK and was transferred to immigration detention pending his removal from the country.
Peter Jones, from Border Force in the South West, said: "This man was attempting to enter the UK without a visa or valid passport but was stopped and will now be removed to his home country."