Sailor Geoffrey Cole's body found in Devon cove two weeks after yacht found in France

Police say his body was found on Friday off Exmouth

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The Independent Online

The body of a sailor whose yacht was found on the northern French coast has been found in a sea cove in Devon.

Geoffrey Cole, from Weymouth, is thought to have set sail from the Dorset town on 21 September bound for Swanage.

The 61-year-old's yacht was found on 23 September between Boulogne and Calais with nobody aboard.

A spokesman from Dorset Police said the body was found on Friday in a cove just off Exmouth in Devon.

Mr Cole was described as an experienced sailor and his daughter told a local paper that the Weymouth to Swanage journey was one he had undertaken many times before.

His yacht, named Palamina, was last seen at approximately 10:30 BST on 21 September off St Aldhelm's Head near Swanage.

The French coastguard found the 27ft vessel washed ashore in Gris Nez area, a cape roughly 30km south of Calais.

The spokesman added, “The male has been positively identified as the missing Dorset man Geoffrey Cole who was last seen in September sailing his boat off the Dorset coast.

“The next of kin have been informed and asked for their privacy to be respected at this most difficult time.

“Dorset Police would like to thank the public and the various maritime agencies for their assistance in tracing Mr Cole.”

A statement from Castle Cove Sailing Club had expressed “great sadness” after hearing of Mr Cole's disappearance.